There are many vector drawing applications which can be used for drawing maps: The market leaders are Adobe Illustrator, CorelDraw and Macromedia Freehand. Illustrator is the industry leader for vector artwork. Also, CAD programs are also used in drawing maps, especially AutoCad. Turbocad can also be used. Canvax X has added a dedicated GIS module in its core drawing program, allowing one to directly import the most commonly-used GIS filter, including SHP and eeoo file, directly into the vector drawing environment. There is also a third-party plug-in from Avenza that is specifically made for Illustrator and Freehand. This also allows for the importation of a wide variety of GIS map data…more so than Canvas X. Mapmaker is also another choice. Using any of these vector programs for the designing of maps allows for easy re-editing and additions of geographical information to the underlying map. We use Canvas X for the importation of GIS map data. Sometimes bitmapped information is needed because certain geographic imagery such as mountain terrain simply cannot be adequately rendered in a vector map drawing environment. Source.