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Softwares for Urban Mapping

In this article, we will explore various softwares for urban mapping that aid architects to enhance their urban planning proposals and design urban layouts that abide by city zoning rules.

1. GIMP :

GNU Image Manipulation Program, commonly known as GIMP, is a free raster-based image manipulation software. GIMP is found to be an effective alternative to the Adobe Photoshop.

In the context of urban design, GIMP is used to edit images, add text to images, and overlay graphic content on maps.


Inkscape is vector-based, open graphic manipulation tool often used as a counterpart to GIMP. For the urban designer, Inkscape is used to draw and manipulate shapes and lines on maps. Comparable to Adobe Illustrator, Inkscape offers a user-friendly alternative for planners and designers.


SketchUp’s accuracy in forming solid forms and geometry in a quicker time period has been utilized by a number of urban planners and designers to create virtual models of cities and neighbourhoods and buildings, and even the utilities, on a micro and macro level.

Even better, SketchUp integrates easily with Google Earth.


ArcGIS is an software and online GIS platform developed by Esri. It has many tools which would helpful in mapping and site analysis.


Geographic Resources Analysis Support System, commonly referred to as GRASS GIS, is a free desktop Geographic Information System (GIS) technology built for vector and raster geospatial data management, geoprocessing, spatial modelling and visualization.

6. QGIS :

QGIS is a user friendly Open Source Geographic Information System (GIS) licensed under the GNU General Public License. It runs on Linux, Unix, Mac OSX, Windows and Android and supports numerous vector, raster, and database formats and functionalities.


UrbanFootprint is a tool to help officials determine the best scenarios and outcomes for their communities, using scientific research and data about real places where people live and work. It lets users look at current land use plans in their communities and visualize the potential for where new people, buildings, and urban amenities might go as population grows in the future.


coUrbanize is a community engagement platform that helps residents, real estate developers, city planners, and municipalities build better cities together.

It offers an online consultation platform for municipalities allowing citizens to voice their opinion about local development projects. It also provides information about all development projects across the city.

We hope this article has been both informative and entertaining!


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