I am working on this hobby project of mine, where I intend to convert a populated map SVG/PNG to clean SVG.

For example consider this : enter image description here

to a clean SVG with only outlines of the different constituencies

For a populated SVG to a clean SVG, I simply edit the former in a text editor using a script (requires some manual oversight as well) - but it gets cumbersome and is not scalable. For a PNG, I learned and used Inkscape and later Lightroom to arrive at some output - but the quality of output is not that great and is definitely harder to scale.

I was wondering if anybody has pointers on how to increase the efficiency and get around the painstaking inkscape work. Am I even using the right tools - I am completely new to this

PS - This is my first post, apologies if I didn't add enough info or my conduct was not as per the etiquette

  • Hello; tracing raster graphics (PNG) into vector graphics (SVG) usually does take a lot of time or produces limited quality result. So while that is not really what you are asking about, in the case of maps there might be another option in finding the underlying map data in either vecotr format or GIS-like formats (shapefiles, GeoJSON, etc…). While this is not a solution to your general problem (hence why I am not writing this as an answer), in this particular case I found this: upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/4/48/…
    – J.E
    Commented Mar 19, 2021 at 8:29
  • Hi. Welcome to GDSE. Can you clarify if you are starting from a PNG, and trying to auto trace in Inkscape? If so, it might be worthwhile using raster software to paint over the text before you try auto tracing in Inskcape. I know this will be time consuming, but trying to remove all the text after you have traced it would be worse.
    – Billy Kerr
    Commented Mar 19, 2021 at 15:29
  • Also note, the quality of auto tracing is generally always worse than for example recreating vector graphics by hand. There are no shortcuts to get high quality vector images. If there was, I'd be out of a job.
    – Billy Kerr
    Commented Mar 19, 2021 at 15:33
  • This map from Wikimedia Commons also looks nice.
    – Wolff
    Commented Mar 19, 2021 at 18:34
  • Thanks for all your responses. Indebted. Thanks for the pointers @BillyKerr. I think I have definitely begun to appreciate the effort that goes into creating high quality vector graphics and I am eager to learn the ropes. Can you point me to some resources that should help me get started in a structured manner ?
    – nodaj
    Commented Apr 6, 2021 at 9:19

1 Answer 1


Here's a workflow for Inkscape. Use the Find/Replace dialog to select and delete the text objects.

enter image description here

This selects all text objects in the drawing, including text objects nested inside object groups. Invisible and locked layers are excluded. Destroy them all!

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