GIS, Cartographic and Spatial Analysis Tools: Cartographic Tools

This guide provides an overview of geographic software, libraries and tools supported by or recommended by RDS staff.

The North American Cartographic Information Society (NACIS) is a resource for cartographic instruction and resources, including their Youtube channel and the Cartotalk forums. 

Vector graphics editors are standard tools for finishing cartographic products, especially Adobe Illustrator which is available in the RDS lab.  Inkscape is a free and open source alternative that compares favorably.  Self learning materials for both applications are available from LinkedIn Learning

Color Brewer is an invaluable resource for providing color schemes for choropleth mapping and other visualizations.  CARTO also makes their own color schemes available for use. Also see the Adobe page for color schemes

Type Brewer is designed for mapmakers who want to learn more about map typography and get text specifications for starting a map project.

Projection Wizard is an easy to use tool for recommending appropriate map projections by extent and property. 

Shaded Relief is a resource for cartographers creating shaded relief, panoramas, land cover, and related raster art on maps.

MapShaper is a browser based tool for simplifying vector datasets.