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I am looking for icons to represent cities, villages and other places, something like the ones that come with AutoREALM, but which can be used in my mapping tool of choice (GIMP in this case). Is there a free source of place icons?

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Hi Erik, welcome to RPG.SE. This question appears to be about image manipulation and not specific to RPG's, so it doesn't really fit here. –  C. Ross Mar 31 '13 at 22:54
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@C.Ross I don't know... Asking for a site where gaming cartography stock resources can be downloaded seems on-topic (though it may fall afoul of the "no lists" requirement). I would have directed Erik to the Cartographers' Guild, which is all about this sort of thing and definitely in the realm of RPGs. –  SevenSidedDie Apr 1 '13 at 4:19
    
Deviant art has a lot of brushes that can be used to generate maps. –  Sardathrion Apr 1 '13 at 10:49
    
This only works if we avoid making answers about lists, but rather about links to off-site lists, preferably those that are actively maintained and have a lot of info. I'm tentatively voting to re-open to see if we get answers like that. –  KRyan Apr 1 '13 at 17:06
    
@Roflo That directly answers the question. Why not make it a proper answer? –  SevenSidedDie Apr 1 '13 at 21:14
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4 Answers

You could actually use the AutoREALM icons, if you don't mind a bit of fiddly work.

It is quite easy to vectorize simple graphics. Inkscape (free alternative to Adobe Illustrator) has such a function to trace bitmaps by various attributes of the original image (colour, brightness, edges and so on). You can make a map that's just the AutoREALM icons you want to use, turn off the grid, save it as a bitmap, and then use your vector program to vectorize the symbols one at a time. That will get you a format that you can use in other programs either directly, or by scaling and saving the vector images into whatever format you need.

If you need detailed information on how to vectorize graphics, the Graphic Design SE site is the place to go for more.

Please be aware though of certain copyright restrictions that may apply to graphics from any source (especially pen&paper rulebooks) though.

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I'm pretty satisfied with the brushes and hex templates on this post, even if I'm not a big fan of hex maps. Make sure you snap to the grid to make it easier.

You could also try to make your own brushes. I don't consider myself good with graphics, but I did manage to get some usable maps.

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The Cartographers' Guild is a site for devotees of map-making in fictional worlds. There is some serious talent there, and they're a very sharing community.

In particular, you'll be interested in the Mapping Elements subforum, especially the sticky posts at the top. There are lists and lists of free symbols, and more are shared and created by Guild members every day.

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You could download collections of US road sign symbols; there are lots. You can also use the Emoji building symbols. These would work better in a more modern setting though. I doubt medieval calligraphers used anything resembling Helvetica.

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Could you add some links to some of those resources? –  Sardathrion Apr 2 '13 at 7:31
    
The Emoji symbols are one of the newer blocks of Unicode. Apple supports them on the iPhone, for example. Other systems must. I'd stick with the other suggestions; these would be too modern. –  Eric Jablow Apr 2 '13 at 11:13
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