March 2008
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Enhanced Symbols for GIS usage

In the making of maps, the correct use and the quality of marker and point symbols are a critical element in creating pleasing, informative maps. The “out of the box” markers that ship with ESRI’s ArcGIS software form a good set to start from, but in many cases, and especially with the shields for highways and freeways, they leave something to be desired.

ESRI provides two types of symbols:

  • Bitmap marker symbols (made from a picture). The main disadvantage is that they become pixellated if they are made larger or smaller than normal size.
  • True Type font marker symbols. These do not have the disadvantage of scaling, and are highly preferable. However, they are hard to create. I don’t create fonts – do you?

Fortunately, in my years of GIS experience, I discovered Jim Mossman’s Data Deja View fonts via the ESRI ArcScripts page. These freely available fonts are extremely detailed, incredibly beautiful, color changeable, and basically the best thing since sliced bread.

Since I have found them to be so useful, I thought I would include the ones I use. You will see some of these on our basemaps to provide enhanced symbols. Again – I want to thank Jim for the wonderful work he has done!

So – here are my favorites. You can view the .pdf file before you download the .zip file with the fonts and follow the installation instructions.

I hope this helps – please add comments and links to other symbol notes …

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