Generally when I make a map it is to satisfy the needs of the current campaign I'm running. This one is no different. I'm not much of an artist and I usually only have the spare time to make a map during downtime at work. So, my previous maps were done in MS Paint.
This time I needed to make some maps for a modern campaign I'm running. The characters are making their way back home to South Carolina after trekking across the US during the aftermath of WWIII. They've been dodging fallout, biological and chemical weapons, and the Reds.
Finally they arrive in their home state to find that their families had evacuated to Asheville NC before the bombs fell but there's a couple divisions of commies in between them and their families.
Since I like to let the players decide how the game will progress, I need to give them a map showing them their best intel on the surroundings.
So, I'm at work and I don't have Photoshop, but I do have Internet access, MS Paint, and MS Publisher. Here's what I came up with. (Check the PDF it looks better.)
The background is pieced together from a few print screens of Google Maps in Terrain mode, the icons are MS Arial Unicode characters, U+2623, U+2622, and U+262D with some Wordart effects on them and in the case of the Biohazard and Radiation warning symbols they have a Triangle and Circle behind them to create a backing. (There's lots of great symbols in Unicode like a coffin U+26B0, all the chess pieces, and lots more.)