January 18, 2023

Placemark for Figma

Since as long as I can remember in the geospatial industry, there's been a need for vector maps – maps in vector formats like SVG or PDF, that you can print or edit in a drawing tool. And there haven't been many tools to produce those.

You can screenshot a Google or Mapbox map, but that will give you a raster image - a PNG or a JPEG. So it'll get pixelated if you scale it up, and you can't modify elements in the map when you bring them into Figma. Plus, most major mapping services have restrictive terms of service: Google doesn't want you to use their maps in printed goods, like coasters or t-shirts, and Mapbox's terms of service are even more strict, forbidding almost all print applications.

This is why we're introducing the Placemark Figma plugin, a free and open source plugin for Figma that makes the creation of vector maps dramatically easier.

Your maps, free to use

The plugin pulls map data from OpenStreetMap, the same datasource as Mapbox. However, it adds no additional restrictions to what you can do with the rendered map: you can print it, publish it, do whatever you want, as long as you follow OpenStreetMap's attribution policy. To make that simple, the plugin adds attribution to every map it creates.

Design your maps in Figma

The plugin lets you really design your maps in your design tool. That means that roads are vectors. Buildings are shapes. Both are styled with Figma's shared styles, so you can tweak the color of all highways or trees with Figma. The plugin creates a set of styles the first time you design a map, and you can tweak those styles yourself to create your own distinctive cartography.

The Figma Plugin is available now and people have already been having a good time making maps with it. We're planning a lot of improvements in the future, like better support for coastlines and support for labeling roads and places. Try it out and let us know how it goes!