Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG)
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SVG is an image format developed by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) for vector graphics. SVG uses an XML format and is easy to generate on the fly and edit in many programs. Inkscape and Krita are leading examples of vector graphics editors using the SVG format, but many other programs can export to SVG.
Advantages and Disadvantages
Pros of SVG:
- Supported everywhere!
- Easy to read, easy to write, and a variety of data types to play with (paths, primitives, groups, defs...)
- Classes (like layers, but more flexible, which is both good and bad) with styles at run-time
- Can add properties and metadata relating it back to model space. And not just classes, but serious metadata - could include IFC-XML inside SVG using their "metadata" element.
Cons of SVG:
- CAD programs don't typically treat it as a CAD format. Modification is usually done in artsy programs like Inkscape which aren't designed for drafting.
- Only one paper space. No absolute units. You can have embedded SVGs (which mean multiple SVGs), but everything has to be bound within a single document at the end of the day, there isn't a native concept of "pages".
- 2D only. Unless you include IFC-XML.
- SVG is listed in the AEC_Open_Data_Standards_Directory
- SVG article on Wikipedia
- World Wide Web Consortium's page on the SVG format
- Discussion on documentation formats on the OSArch discussion forum What is best for documentation when svg, dxf, dwg?