Scaleable Vector Graphics (SVG)

By Karen A. Vagts

[ What is SVG? ] [ Advantages ] [ SVG Sample ] [ Examples ] [ SVG Resources ]

What is SVG?

Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) is a recommendation from the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) for expressing 2D graphics in XML.

The current standard is SVG 1.1; 1.2 is in draft mode. There are also recommendations for print applications and mobile devices.

The DTD consists of six basic entities plus filters, symbols, groups, and IDs. These can be modified or extended.

What are its advantages?

Back to Top

Sample SVG

The primary intent of this SVG illustration is show the scope of features and effects that SVG offers. In addition to basic shapes, lines, and fills, you can apply gradients, transform (duplicate, stretch, scale, etc.) objects, and employ many of the techniques you would in a regular graphics software package. You can also embed bitmaps and URLs.

Back to Top


Some Working Applications on the Web

The following links are to web sites that use the SVG format to present graphics, frequently with links to statistics and other text-based information. Except where indicated, all work most reliably in Microsoft Explorer versions 6.0+ (Firefox 1.5 has partial support and more is promised in future versions) and require a SVG view plug in, such as the Adobe SVG viewer.

French Canada Archives Project

County Library of Clare Internet Geographical Information System project

Social Patterns of Vienna

National Cancer Institute

Brassica/Arabidopsis Comparative Genome Viewer

Google Web Authoring Statistics (View in Firefox)

Back to Top

SVG Resources

W3C SVG Web site: The W3C's Basic Information Page on SVG

The W3C's Formal Specification for SVG Version 1.1

Adobe SVG Zone: This Adobe site offers SVG examples, tutorials, and, of course, the downloadable SVG viewer.

Carto Net: This European web site offers nifty examples of SVG applied to Geographic Information Systems (GIS) applications.

SVG Introduction and Tutorial: From the XML web site of O'Reilly Press, a major publisher of technology books. Web site, blog, and wiki of a major online SVG community.

SVG Mobile Phones: Updated list of the many mobile phones that use the SVG mobile specification for their visual interfaces (perhaps one of the models is yours!).


Back to Top

This page uses the XHTML 1.0 Transitional standard with CSS2 styles. It is optimized for newer browsers.