Vector Road Maps?

Does anyone have experience with a source for vector maps? I’ve got a request coming in for a bus route map that covers a rural and large geographic area, and is going to need considerable detail for small side roads. The clients proof of concept was a bunch of google maps printouts taped together - I’m trying to find a less time-consuming way than that.

I’ve seen mentions of SVG exports of google maps in the past, but that doesn’t seem to be an option any more. I’m running across some paid services, but I’m hoping someone knows a good one (or a free one) before I toss money at anything.

You could get in touch with Google Maps to ensure you can use their maps for this purpose
Permissions – Google.

Have you tried OpenStreetMap.org? If you need vector files, you’re likely out of luck. Vector maps are typically made from disconnected line segments useful ror GIS display but not so useful for design modification purposes.

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I have in the past redrawn google street maps - with the correct permissions to do so.

You can buy them - and vector ones - but I can do it myself.

Oh, that looks promising. The final print is going to be fairly large so the teachers and kiddos can see where the stops are, so I figured vector the safest option to make sure all the little roads were visible. The option to export based on latitude/longitude might keep enough detail to be functional, I’ll have to try.

I don’t think there should be an issue with the licensing, since this isn’t going to be much of a design job - primarily it’s trying to print a large-size map (about 20 miles of road) with the sort of small, side-road details that web maps typically hide at that zoom level. I think that, being essentially just a large scale print for bus drivers and schoolkids to find the pickup/dropoff points, it falls within the safe boundaries of fair/non-commercial use. Of course, if there’s a line I’m blindly treading on, please let me know. While I don’t imagine Google would file a suit against a rural school district school bus line or the print shop that enabled them, if they did it’d certainly be no fun for anyone.

I did go through the list of permissions/exclusions you linked, and the only line I found that caused me some concern is Section 2, Subsection D here: “[you may not] use Google Maps/Google Earth to create or augment any other mapping-related dataset (including a mapping or navigation dataset, business listings database, mailing list, or telemarketing list) for use in a service that is a substitute for, or a substantially similar service to, Google Maps/Google Earth” - but I think labeling a bus route as a competing service to Google maps is a bit of a stretch.

There wouldn’t be any concerns. But you know, this thread could be found later on and the info is there for them.

It’s very easy to draw it. That would be my preference.

Okay, phew. You had me sweating over here worrying I was getting ready to put my foot in something unpleasant. I always try to pay attention to licensing when using free resources, but it’s one of those things where I always worry I missed something that’ll bite me.

I’m in the US, and on government projects I have requested GIS street maps in vector from city planning departments.

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