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Thread: Illustrator vs inkscape

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  1. #1

    Default Illustrator vs inkscape

    OK first question here, and I'm pretty sure it must have already been asked, but I looked a few pages back and couldn't find anything, and the search doesnt seem to work properly. So here goes.

    I'm still very new to mapping. I have an interest in real life geographic mapping, drawing maps of cities, towns, etc. I have Illustrator and have been slowly learning my way through that, but have been looking at Inkscape and wonder if some of the tools might be more applicable for map making. Any thoughts or suggestions?

  2. #2
    Community Leader Guild Sponsor Korash's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Montreal, Canada


    Okay, I am not an Illustrator user (have inkscape) so I cannot comment on whether or not Inkscape has anything over Illustrator, but my understanding is that they are quite simular except Inkscape is open sourced and free. My suggestion would be that seeing as you already have access to Illustrator, to master that tool (or at least get comfortable with it) before moving on to others like it. And to answer you question about mapping with either, I have seen great maps made using both, either used exlusively or as a tool for the line work and brought into another prog for finishing.
    Art Critic = Someone with the Eye of an Artist, Words of a Bard, and the Talent of a Rock.

    Please take my critiques as someone who Wishes he had the Talent

  3. #3


    I have never heard anyone mention any capabilities that Inkscape has and Illustrator does not. Illustrator is the tool of choice for many professional cartographers, though, so I think you're safe sticking with it. Look up posts by HandsomeRob if you'd like to see some awe-inspiring Illustrator work. He's a pro cartographer by day and has been making a very detailed fantasy atlas in his free time. Although I haven't seen him post in quite a while, now that I think about it.

    One place where Inkscape might have a slight advantage is in compatibility because it uses SVG as its native format.
    Bryan Ray, visual effects artist

  4. #4


    Thanks for the feed back guys. At least I know I'm heading in the right direction and can just focus on continuing to learn Illustrator.

  5. #5
    Guild Novice The Dragon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    The Land of Eng


    Illustrator is one of those programs which is, to me at least, was extremely daunting at first. If you are already comfortable with it's basic operations you'll have no problems mastering it's functions with future practice.

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