We are going to let our users add points, polylines and polygons to a map. Are there any international standards for map symbology?
For example for emergency symbols?
The INSPIRE data specifications define some standard styles for portrayal of topographic data (transport network, hydrography, administrative units, etc.). See for example the section "11.Portrayal" of this document for hydrography.
I recently noticed this project by the GeoVista group that is attempting to standardize map symbology for critical incidents (sponsored by the Department of Homeland Security). They have a few conference papers that should be helpful for standardized emergency symbols.
Note this also is not an international standard, but I would check out the references for the papers as they may have some citations that could suggest a source for international standards.
On a comical stance... http://www.cartotalk.com/lofiversion/index.php?t2542.html 'emergency symbol library'
links to the map..
Homeland Security Mapping Standard - Point Symbology for Emergency Management
Tip: Try an guess the symbols
Work has recently been completed in Canada to create a national standard for emergency mapping point symbologies. In many cases the base symbols were inspired by the Homeland Security Working Group (HSWG) symbols but made more usable with today's technology. The Canadian symbols are in PNG format and in an ESRI symbol palette. For further information refer to:
Yes, I'm currently working on this. http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/SchemaTroll_2.01 (GoogleDocs Spreadsheet) I am directly comparing various international dataset map features Including *Garmin Map Features
*CanVec (Natural Resources Canada)
*Land Information New Zealand
*Ordnance Survey UK
(and now the Infrastructures Symbology Reference)
*OpenStreetMap (current standard features)