Ask A Cartographer

Are there any copyright issues with using symbols in ArcMap?

October 14 2011 | 0 comments
Categories: Symbology

I was recently asked the question "Are there any copyright issues using any of the symbols in ArcMap?". So for example if you work in the UK and are creating a map of some survey work done and you like the style of symbol for trees that the U.S. Forest Service uses, is it OK to create maps based upon that symbology?

I thought the answer to this is no as how would you be able to create ANY map if you are not allowed to use the symbols that come with the application (which by the way you had purchased)?

Anyway, thought I should ask the question.

Mapping Center Answer:

"Are there any copyright issues" is a rather broad question. There can be numerous issues associated in using the fonts that are licensed to be used with ArcGIS. But if you have a license for the ArcGIS software which includes the Esri fonts and symbols, you should have no problem in using them within the ArcGIS software to create maps. You have purchased the license to use the fonts and symbols in that manner.

Using your example, if you like the style of symbols provided with the software, then you can use it to create any sort of map within the software that you would like to. The styles are not exclusive sets, which means if you like the symbol from one style or another, it is available to you to use in your map.

The serious issues in copyright are when the fonts are used in other manners than those which they were intended.

If you would like to post a comment, please login.

Contact Us | Legal | Privacy |