Network renderer

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Ideas for software to render network maps, e.g. like the London Underground, rail connections, cycle networks, etc.


  1. Extract the network into a separate file
  2. Save it in a graph format, that can be edited
  3. Drag the nodes around, and do all the artistic stuff to arrange the network
  4. Publish as graphics file

Possible graph formats and their editors

File format Editor Notes
OSM JOSM + a renderer can't edit curves. 2-stage edit/render in separate apps is inconvenient
GML, GraphML, etc. yed, graphviz Not so good at artwork side of things
OpenDocument drawing, with connectors OpenOffice Draw maybe a nice mixture of art and structure
SVG Inkscape doesn't support nodes/connectors yet?, but excellent support for artwork, curves, and graphics
ideas? ... ...

Ideal output format/editor

Would be:

  • Simple and easy to generate
  • Supports graph-like features (nodes joined by connectors)
  • Allows interactive distortion and layout of the network
  • Colour/width/style choices for everything
  • Curve support would be nice
  • Allows 'classes' of objects, so you can change the style of many similar things
  • A proper drawing/publishing tool, so you can do artwork in it

Subway (software)


  • takes OSM input
  • gives GML output (for editing in yed)
  • hardcoded to filter railways


  • It currently puts all the nodes in a pile (use the auto-layout tools in yed) -- it should start by putting them in their relative geographic locations