View Full Version : Looking for a simple, yet effective map making software

Jennifer Crosby
07-08-2012, 08:20 AM
Would like a simple map making software where I can create a map of a fantasy world rather quickly, like today. Any suggestions?

If there is nothing simple out there, which software programs do people like and why?


07-08-2012, 09:55 AM
I think that Campaign Cartographer would be what you're looking for then :) ... and we do have some experts on that in here as well, like NeonKnight :)

Mark Oliva
07-09-2012, 01:04 AM
Be sure to check out Fractal Mapper (TM) 8 too. Unlike most other programs, you can try it out free and also get the complete tutorial documentation free. It has the shortest learning curve of the most popular mapping programs, but it also can do almost anything that any other program can. The trial version of FM8 is different from the full license version in only two respects:

1) You can't save maps with the trial version.

2) Fewer mapping symbols are delivered with the trial version.

You can download the trial version here:


You can download the beginning documentation and tutorial here:


You can download the advanced raster mapping tutorial here:


and the free supporting files for the tutorial here:


There's no time bomb in any of these products. You can use them for as long as you wish. Here are samples of a few FM8 maps.

46411 46412 46413

07-09-2012, 02:26 PM
Many people use dedicated map making software, like the mentioned Campaign Cartographer and Fractal Mapper. The truth is that most here create their maps using GIMP or Photoshop which are full featured graphic arts software rather than making just maps. I use Xara Xtreme (Xara Designer Pro is the most current) which is a vector drawing program like Illustrator, Inkscape or Coreldraw.

Really depending on what you want your map to look like - most graphics software have some kind of learning curve. There really is no such thing as software that will let you create a map in one day, unless, like me you're skilled at using the software and can create a world map quickly. There are some stamp applications that are fairly easy to use, but unless you have the right map objects, either it won't look too professional or make only the simplist of designs.

You need to explore the Finished Maps Gallery and look for the kind of map you want. From there you can learn what software was used to design...

There really is no 'push a button' and now you have a nice map - it all takes work, and in some cases training (even if self-training) to do something serious. Map making is art. Art is not a push button proposition, it takes work to do anything.

Raven Moon
07-13-2012, 06:51 AM
Good question and good advise as a new member I will take others questions and research to heart as I learn a digital map making skill set. I still love to just draw them by hand but I need something simple and effective. I'm looking to make poster sized maps I can have printed out at a local print shop and this helps alot.