Great, free, 2d mapping software (CAD style?)
October 14, 2013 12:31 AM   Subscribe

Howdy Mefites, I'm currently trying to map my property, for landscape design purposes, and I'm seeking a software solution to creating the map. I'd like something free (or almost free...), something that allows me to input measured distances, something with layers, and something fairly intuitive. Pipe dream? I've tried to use Sketchup, and the ability to input line distance directly is brilliant! However, being a 3D rendering product, Sketchup lacks functionality for 2D landscape mapping and design. I've used Campaign Cartographer for years when creating RPG maps, however, it seems to lack the ability to easily create real world maps, and input measured distances (unless I'm missing something). Is there any software that I can use to accurately and intuitively map (for landscape design purposes) my 5 acre property, with layers, various symbols... and which won't cost hundreds of dollars?
posted by Sustainable Chiles to Home & Garden (7 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
Did Sketchup's 2D view and related drawing tools not work well for your purposes?
posted by xyzzy at 1:40 AM on October 14, 2013

You could try QGIS. May do what you need and is free.

Give this a look (my work website).
posted by micklaw at 3:52 AM on October 14, 2013 [1 favorite]

Seconding QGIS. If you're in Canada, you can rough in the boundaries from the Toporama WMS, or use the OpenLayers plugin to work from Google/Bing imagery.

Be prepared to be slightly confused by Coordinate Reference Systems if you've never used GIS before.
posted by scruss at 9:19 AM on October 14, 2013

If you want Autodesk autocad functionality without paying the price , there is always draftsight
posted by radsqd at 10:07 AM on October 14, 2013

Thanks folks.

Let me elaborate. I'd like to be able to map out our acreage, using real measurements. For example, I'd like to place the house (which can be a basic rectangle) in relation to the road, and then add fence lines, major trees, the pond, driveway, etc... Some of these options seem possible with Sketchup, but I have yet to find a way to represent a variety of lines (such as fences vs. utility lines) with different line weights/colours/patterns. Do QGIS or Draftsight provide this type of function?

posted by Sustainable Chiles at 10:24 AM on October 14, 2013

Yes; you'd do them as different layers, each with its own style.
posted by scruss at 11:28 AM on October 14, 2013

Draftsight works like AutoCAD so you can have layers for each feature.
Layers can have different line weights/colors/patterns etc.
Here is a link that probably describes this best; cad for landscaping/development
posted by radsqd at 9:09 AM on October 15, 2013

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