Is there a collection of universal cartographic symbols?
Is there a globally valid 'universal' set of cartographic symbols? Who defined it? Do we provide it? Can it be downloaded? Especially I'm looking for:
- power doors
- non-power doors
- curb cuts
- curb without a curb cut
- accessible (handicapped) parking
Thanks a lot!
Mapping Center Answer:
There are certainly commonly accepted cartographic conventions (like using blue lines for rivers and green colors for vegetation), and certain mapping agencies will adopt a set of cartographic symbols for their maps (like the symbols on a USGS topographic map, as shown in Parts 5 and 6 on this web site: http://rockyweb.cr.usgs.gov/nmpstds/qmapstds.html), but there is NO ONE SET of universally accepted cartographic symbols. And for us cartographers that is actually a good thing! Different maps will require different symbology for all sorts of reasons that relate to the use and the audience of the maps.
That said, there ARE sets of symbols that many map makers use and therefore many map readers are familiar with. Many of these are sets of symbols are found in the ArcGIS styles. For the types of features you are trying to map, there are no standard symbol sets.
If you are making a 2D map, you can check out the Public Signs style. This style contains marker symbols that have the kinds of signs you might find in public buildings to indicate such things as elevators, escalators, and stairs. The Hazmat style has things like stairs (of various types), escalators, elevators (or various types), and handicapped accessible emergency exits. The Transportation style contains symbols for handicapped reserved parking and access for the handicapped. Other styles will contain other symbols. You can either use these symbols as they are, use them to create your own symbols, or create you own symbols using other input (e.g., graphic image files).
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