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I'm looking to make some mock top-view renderings of road reconstructions like this: enter image description here

I've been trying to use Photoshop and Google Earth to do this since I know how to work them both, but it's a very clunky method. I usually trace out some guidelines in Google Earth since I can measure distance accurately with it, then take a bunch of screenshots and stitch it together in Photoshop, where I use paths to actually render everything. This method is very inefficient (not to mention that both Google and Photoshop deal with paths pretty terribly I think) but I don't know of any other way to do it.

I figure there has to be some kind of software that is aware of the concept of 'distance' (need to draw 11' lanes, 6' sidewalks etc to scale over satellite imagery) that is useful for making these kinds of renderings, but I wouldn't know where to begin looking.

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that both Google and Photoshop deal with paths pretty terribly I think) but I don't know of any other way to do it.

Use vector illustration software such as Inkscape or Adobe Illustrator.

I figure there has to be some kind of software that is aware of the concept of 'distance'

The typical type of software for doing what you are doing would be CAD software. AutoCAD being one of the most popular.

FYI, you can also go straight to using vector based maps: http://www.openstreetmap.org/ using http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/OSM_on_Paper

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  • AutoCAD is what I was looking for. In case anybody else is wondering the same thing I was, here's a video showing exactly what I was looking to do: youtube.com/watch?v=JxP1yWzBc54 – theangrytomato Oct 11 '15 at 19:17
  • @theangrytomato Actually you want to use a GIS application instead of AutoCAD. Somethimg like ArcGIS or QGIS as they underatand earh coordinates automatically and can allign your satelite images. And they are cartographers cad software. – joojaa Oct 12 '15 at 4:11
  • @joojaa Good point. Though note that there are tools to use GIS data with AutoCAD. – DA01 Oct 12 '15 at 4:16
  • @DA01 yes but there are also gis connectors for illustrator. Anyway, probably for that image Autocad is not optimal for the color work. It works bit is not optimal. – joojaa Oct 12 '15 at 4:22

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