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International Recreation Symbols

International Recreation Symbols Information

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) National Science and Technology Center (NSTC) is the point of contact for standard International Recreation Symbology used by the BLM. As there is no single government agency responsible for managing International Recreation Symbols, many agencies have developed their own symbols and definitions. This has led to confusion and misuse throughout the government and here in the BLM. The NSTC will continue to work and coordinate with other agencies in an effort to standardize symbology and definitions. However, this is an ongoing effort and until it is completed, the downloadable symbols and definitions listed below should be used by all Bureau offices.

The NSTC has created a set of International Recreation Symbols and their definitions, which were derived primarily from symbol sets approved by the Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) and adaptations of symbols from BLM-NSTC and the U.S. Forest Service (USFS). The BLM symbols were NSTC-specific recreational and cultural symbols used to support standard and special-theme Bureau mapping projects. All of the symbols provided here are consistent with the MUTCD and USFS, however some of the definitions have been modified for clarity. This symbol set is not all inclusive and will continue to be updated as necessary.

All Bureau offices must comply with use of this International Recreation Symbol set and definitions, in order to provide consistent, best communications and service to the general public. State Office Mapping Groups are encouraged to link to this site as new symbols will be posted as they are requested and developed.

A USFS web site is listed here as a resource for some additional information. (See website: ) This site contains approximately 120 of the Bureau-approved International Recreation Symbols in several different downloadable file formats. Many of the symbol definitions at this site are slightly different from traditional BLM definitions but have the same basic meaning.

For additional information regarding these International Recreation Symbols and their definitions, contact Bill Jackson, Chief, Branch of Cartographic Applications, the National Operations Center, at 303.236.7345, or e-mail him at .


Information and Reference Files - We recommend printing out the following 2 files for reference.

Download International Symbols Reference - A one page printable PDF to use as a desktop reference with the symbols, names, and identifying number. You can view this in your browser with a PDF plug-in, or by using Adobe Acrobat Reader. Not to be used for map making - use only as a reference.

Download International Symbols Keyboard Equivalents & Instructions - A two page printable PDF. It contains instructions for installing the Windows and Macintosh fonts, and a Keyboard Equivalent Chart. You can view this in your browser with a PDF plug-in, or by using Adobe Acrobat Reader. Not to be used for mapmaking - use only as a reference.

International Symbol Downloads

Download International Symbols ArcInfo marker set - This is a Zip file containing the font sets, installation instructions and the marker file for use in ArcInfo.

The four files below, WINTTSEA.exe, WINPSSEA.exe, MACTTSEA.hqx,and MACPSSEA.hqx contain eight symbol fonts in TrueType (...TT...) and PostScript Type 1 (...PS...) format for PC and Mac installation and for use with the ESRI ArcGIS program. The fonts were created with Macromedia Fontographer for the PC from Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and US Forest Service (USFS) Encapsulated PostScript (.EPS) vector graphic files. As they are vector based rather than bitmaps they may be enlarged to virtually any extent without loss of line work quality or resolution. The files were compressed using WinZip on the PC and CompactPro on the MAC. Decompression and installation are as follows:

  • WINxxSEA.exe - These files are self-extracting archives that will place the working fonts in a directory of the users choice for installation in the operating system. Once expanded the files are to be installed in the fonts folder found in the Control Panel. Double-click on the Fonts icon in the control panel and follow the instructions for installing a new font(s). The TrueType format (.ttf) should be installed unless the PostScript version is needed for use with Adobe Type Manager.
  • MACxxSEA.hqx - These files are self-extracting compressed format files that have been saved in binhex format so they can be transmitted over networks or the Internet /Internet to either MAC or PC machines. To open these files you must have an archiving program with binhex conversion capabilities, such as CompactPro or Stuffit, installed on the MAC. Once the files have been un-binhexed and decompressed the fonts can be installed in the System Font folder by simply dragging them to the System folder. Either format can be used but the TrueType version is recommended for cross- platform compatability.

Download Windows TrueType Symbols File

Download Windows PostScript Symbol Files

Download Macintosh TrueType Symbols File

Download Macintosh PostScript Symbol Files