WxGUI Cartographic Composer

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For development issues see Trac page.

The Cartographic Composer (so called wx.psmap) is a GUI application which allows GRASS users to prepare interactively hardcopy map outputs. The application can write a instructions file for GRASS module ps.map, and then run this module on the background to create PostScript output directly. See the announcement in the mailing list. See also the manual.

Cartographic Composer is release under GNU GPL licence and the source is available from GRASS SVN repository. The composer is part of core GRASS GIS. To run the composer, it is necessary to have the Python Imaging Library (on some systems called "python-pillow" package) installed.

Note: ps.map (see also ps.output) is a GRASS module, intended to be a stand-alone hardcopy plot generator. It is not meant to be a Print button for the maps currently displayed in the map canvas, that will need it own controls.

The Cartographic Composer is available in GRASS 6.4.2+ from the Layer manager menu File → Cartographic Composer or from the toolbar .

In GRASS 7 the tool is also available from the command line as stand-alone application (g.gui.psmap).

Cartographic Composer - draft mode

Supported mapping instructions

The GUI currently supports the most important mapping instructions (see also ps.map manual page):

  • paper
  • scale
  • maploc
  • rast
  • vects
  • scalebar
  • mapinfo
  • legend
  • text labels
  • eps (image, north arrow)

Video tutorials

How to add north arrow
Raster, legend, vector outline


  • Ability to load in saved ps.map instructions file. I consider this to be a low priority, deal with it after map creation is fully functional. Start with scripts saved using the GUI, after that is working expand to load any ps.map instructions file.


  • ps.map instructions file
  • PostScript file
  • PDF file

Map Output Examples

Examples were created within A. Kratochvilova's bachelor thesis (in Czech)


wxGUI Cartographic Composer was developed within a bachelor thesis at the Czech Technical University in Prague by Anna Kratochvilova in 2011.