How to include a high quality 2D symbols library in ArcGis ( IAN Symbols )

Note: Even though the French version of this article dates back to 2015, most
of its content is, still, valid.

We will discuss how to recover and include a 2D symbols library in
ArcGIS.

The IAN Symbols Server

The Local Integration and Application Network (IAN: Integration and
Application Network) is a group of scientists whose goal is the study and solution
of environmental issues . IAN is an initiative of the Center for Environmental
Science-University of Maryland. Its mission is to inspire, manage and produce reports
and evaluations in a timely manner on environmental key issues, with particular
emphasis on the Chesapeake Bay and its watershed. IAN is a network that
includes different US agencies and institutions.
The IAN makes available a series of symbols libraries, for free. The site address
is the following:  http://ian.umces.edu/symbols/

How to download symbol libraries

The library contains currently 2782 symbols,
grouped by categories.
Click on the “download” option to get the list of available categories.
 

You must choose the format to be downloaded. There are three possibilities: svg, adobe illustrator and png . The two first are vector formats and the last one is a raster format.
The only format that can be used directly by ArcGis is the raster. png . But , it is recommended to avoid raster symbols since:

  • they consume a lot of resources and since there are many symbols and, therefore, fuzzy
  • they do not cope with increase in size, the pixelization returns them very quickly but not very aesthetic

We are going to discuss how to recover svg symbols
(besides they are directly usable with QGis) which have the advantage of being vector
symbols and do not have the disadvantages of raster symbols.
Therefore, choose your libraries and the option “SVG (vector)” and “Individual:
single files in folders”.
Also you can download the png version. You can see the images in the file
manager, unlike svg files that are not displayed as thumbnails.  

How to turn  svg files into emf : Inkscape

Since svg files are not readable by ArcGis we
must turn them into a readable format . The vector format used by ArcGis is the
emf format .
A free software that can do this conversion is Inkscape . You can download it
at: https://inkscape.org/fr/download/
Once installed , to convert an svg symbol into emf :
Open Inkscape and load the symbol svg to be converted   

Save
the file by selecting the emf format   

There
it is!
Now you can use the symbol in ArcGis: Open the layer symbols publisher, select symbol
punctual image (yes it is a vector image ), check the emf file that you have just
created, and that’s it .   

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