SVG Maps?

The website of Sodipodi, the SVG drawing tool, has a complete collection of the flags of the world in SVG. It would be really great if someone were to start a similar collection of political maps of countries… I always have trouble getting good world or country map data, and SVG maps could be rescaled and changed to suit the needs of each user. Anyone feel like taking this on?

15 thoughts on “SVG Maps?

  1. I think you mean Sodipodi has a complete collection of the flags of the world in SVG, not the maps of the world.

    Great find though… I too wish there were maps of the world available in SVG! I did draw continental outlines traced from Google Maps last summer, but they may not be at the level of detail expected from SVG maps, and not to mention, they are only the outlines. There are no country divisions.

  2. I’m with you on this one! There’s already a sizeable collection of vector maps in gallery format, and in French, at (Cart’OOo, Atlas Hist’OOo, G�’OOo), which is certainly good to have. It would be nice to see them migrate their work to SVG to be interoperable–but since OOo still can’t import SVG yet, it’s probably not going to happen soon.

  3. Maps are hard. Thinking about global maps makes you wonder which projection to use. I personally like but that’s too rarely used to be generally useful.

    The real evil in this is, those are non-linear transforms, so you can’t just slap an on it to get from one to the other.

    Another idea would be to use a “make center of country the center of map and then project”, but then of course, maps of different countries wouldn’t fit back together.

    3D sucks.

  4. Axel: having the maps fit together is not a requirement. But we’d also need higher-level maps of continents and regions. For all but the largest or most northerly countries, projection doesn’t matter too much. The purpose is to be illustrative, not to be cartographically perfect.

    That said, I’m sure that some smart person could do a decent JavaScript implementation of the transforms required to reproject maps…

  5. The flag for Armenia doesn’t display correctly in FF (and it’s a simple one too). There doesn’t seem to be a place to report it on their web site.

  6. stelt: that’s really cool! Unfortunately it doesn’t display properly in Firefox 1.5 beta 1. The owner should be serving it with Content-Encoding: gzip or something like that, or not using the SVG MIME type for something which is actually compressed SVG.

    If I download it and view it, it’s great but I can’t “zoom in”. Anyone know how I can get Firefox to render an SVG image at a different size to the size of the window?

  7. Agree with Tsee, it’s so hard to find good maps. National Geographic’s Map Machine – sucks.
    You guys have done an amazing job. Thanks =)

  8. I have looked many places to find semi-detailed SVG maps of cities or countries. Does anyone know where they are sold or available? I am looking for Japan in particular, but others would be great to browse.