SVG tools for cartographers - what I'd like

I was recently asked by someone from  a large software company, what kind of tools for SVG we, as cartographers, would be wishing for. I guess the ideas I ranted about could be of interest to this list too...?

[***personal bits snipped***]

A first (free ;-) advice would be to realise that cartographers already are using the tools around and that they are a loyal lot, so it won't be easy to get into the market, you'd have to have a strong extra. Providing good SVG production line(s) would certainly be such a point. 

A second point is that almost all cartographic production nowadays has GIS data as its source. Therefore there's little use in trying to come up with another cartographic DRAWING program, besides you'd have to nudge out Freehand and Illustrator... Rather than that we could really use a tool that takes GIS data, preferably reading EVERYTHING, but a good start would be ESRI formats (shp, E00, geodatabases), Intergraph/Bentley  DGN, MapInfo mid/mif and DXF. Than the tool would give an authoring environment in which I could make html/svg pages that build svg graphics, connected to the attribute data. That way I could base the visualisation (the graphic attributes) on the data (the data attributes). The more visualisation things could be automatically attached to the data, the better (imagine having the population figures of various years controling svg-animation attribs, hmmmm...great!). In an ideal world, of course the environment would offer interactivity tools that write ECMAscript for me (and lets me write y own and debugs it harm in dreaming...)

Avenza  are in beta with MAPublisher-SVG (, providing some (but not nearly all) of the things described, as a plugin to Freehand /Illustator, not very open and of course depending on FH/Ill and their MAPublisher plugin.

So we keep on dreaming...
Barend Köbben <>
Department of Geo-information Processing
International Institute for Geo-information Science and Earth Observation (ITC)
PO Box 6, 7500 AA Enschede, The Netherlands
+31 - (0)53 4874253; fax: +31 - (0)53 4874335

Received on Tuesday, 8 October 2002 08:02:41 UTC