The range of software types available to designers includes what are known as vector drawing programmes. A vector is a line defined by co-ordinate points, rather than a set of pixels. Typical products are:
Drawing programmes are aimed at graphic designers. So-called CAD programmes are aimed at those who produce technical plans. Drawing programmes tend to be easier to use and to have greater functionality with regard to graphic effects. They are also cheaper to buy. Garden designers may well find that vector drawing programmes are able to handle all their needs. They tend to be well-integrated with bitmap editing software and it is possible to use a high-resolution photograph, instead of a traditional map, as the basis for a garden plan.Because they show vegetation, textures and colours, air photographs give a better sense of place than vector-drawn maps.
Raster-to-vector software can convert bitmaps (ie digital photographs) into vectors (ie line drawings). This functionality is valuable when using raster images as the basis for a vector garden design drawing.
A garden plan in a drawing programme (Corel Draw).