I am investigating our options for creating a new map for our course (KeyBank Vermont City Marathon) and am wondering how other events have gone about developing their maps. Do you use software, like that available at Staples, or did you work with someone (graphic designer, etc.) to create your map? We had a map created some time ago, but we cannot modify the image and we find ourselves needing to drill down into certain sections of it, etc., so we have to go back to teh drawing board. I use Google Earth images to assemble a bitmap of the course area in a draw program like Illustrator or Corel. Then I trace the roads, add a measurement line, points of interest, splits, and text specifying the locations of the survey points. I then delete the bitmap. One can generate a very nice looking map that way. There are two negatives, 1) these draw programs are expensive, 2) these draw programs require a steep learning curve I’ve used FreeHand for many years. It has some features not present in Illustrator that make creating roads & running direction easier. Phil does an excellent job on his maps–they are clear and easy to read race points and landmarks. Many races in the local region of MD, VA, and D.C. hire Phil to make maps for them. Check out his Cherry Blossom race course map to see how clear the details are. Source.