Symbol Store: Sharing map symbols for emergency management

Anthony C. Robinson, Scott Pezanowski, Sarah Troedson, Raechel Bianchetti, Justine Blanford, Joshua Stevens, Elaine Guidero, Robert E. Roth, Alan M. MacEachren

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Maps are a primary means for supporting information sharing and collaboration in emergency management and crisis situations. While a variety of formalized map symbol standards for emergency contexts exist, they have not been widely adopted by mapmakers. Informal symbol conventions are commonly used within emergency management stakeholder groups, but until now there has not been a flexible mechanism for discovering, sharing, and previewing these symbol sets among mapmakers. In this paper, we describe the design and development of the Symbol Store, a visually enabled, web-based interactive tool intended to help mapmakers share point symbols. The Symbol Store allows users to browse symbols by keyword, category tags, and contributors. It also allows for symbols to be previewed on realistic maps prior to download. An initial prototype of the Symbol Store was evaluated by flood mapping experts from the State of California, and the results of this user study led to multiple refinements now implemented in the public version of Symbol Store located at © 2013

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)415-426
Number of pages12
JournalCartography and Geographic Information Science
Issue number5
StatePublished - Nov 1 2013

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Management of Technology and Innovation


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