Glossary of Terms


A selection of mapping related terms with brief descriptions. Use the shortcuts on the right side to jump to different letter groups.


API (Script)

An interface for script code to communicate with Grid Cartographer's data structures and supporting utility functions.

Avatar Marker

The circular cursor shown on the map which can be manually moved around the map or driven externally by Game Link.



File extension of the "Windows Bitmap" image file format.

Block Edge

An edge drawn within a grid cell, as opposed to one drawn along the grid line. Used for doors in the "Eye of the Beholder" game series.

Brush Overlay

A scrollable display of all markers, terrain, custom tiles and colors that can be activated temporarily via hotkey (or latched on via an interface button) to allow for rapid selections with shorter mouse movements.

Bulldozer Mode

The avatar marker can be configured to automatically draw walled blocks as it moves around the map floor. This is bulldozer mode and can help with blocking out a basic map during Game Link.


Command Processor

A basic command line inspired by CP/M and DOS that runs in the console by default and allows basic file operations and command execution. A throwback to a more gentle age.


A popup window (or viewport mode) that displays text or simple graphical output for script applications.

Context Menu

A popup menu of options typically activated by right-clicking on an item in the user interface.


A computer role-playing game. Usually used to differentiate from a table-top RPG played with physical materials and played verbally.

Custom Tile

A user imported square graphic that can be drawn onto a floor or plane. Custom tiles can be loaded in either direct colour or mono/tintable modes.



Dungeons & Dragons. A popular fantasy role-playing game for table-top play. There are also many official D&D themed cRPGs.



A unit length wall, door or interactive feature (button, lever, etc.) that can be drawn along grid lines or within a grid cell using one of the block edge modes.

Eye of the Beholder

A popular trilogy of first-person dungeon crawling cRPGs.



A single layer of tiles in a standard square or hex grid region. The primary editing surface displayed in the editor viewport.



Abbreviation of Game Development or Game Developer

Game Link

A technology built into Grid Cartographer which allows emulated games to control the avatar marker and show your game position in the editor view.

Game Link Profile

An XML based file which describes a translation from a game's working memory into a location for the avatar marker. Each game requires a unique profile in order for Game Link auto-tracking to work.


File extension of the single region variant of a native Grid Cartographer map file.


File extension of the native map file format for Grid Cartographer.


File extension of the "Graphics Interchange Format" image file format. While the format itself supports limited animation features, Grid Cartographer does not. Pronounced GIF.


Regularly spaced parallel lines in horizontal and vertical directions that form a series of squares.

Ground Floor

A friendly name for floor zero. Sits beneath the negative 'basement' floors and the positive above ground floors. Can be omitted from a region if not needed.


Hex 'H'

A hexagon oriented so that it has flat edges at the top and bottom and corners to the left and right.

Hex 'V'

A hexagon oriented so that it has corners at the top and bottom, and flat edges on the left and right sides.



File extension of the "Windows Icon" image file format.



File extension of the "JPEG" image file format (also .JPE and .JPEG). Doesn't support transparency and uses lossy compression.


Keyboard Editing Mode

When entering this mode a moveable cursor appears in the active editor view and a combination of keys can then be used to move the cursor around and draw walls, edges and ground without requiring the mouse.

Keyboard Shortcut

A keyboard press (or one modified by , , etc.) that activates or toggles a specific interface function or application command without requiring the mouse.

Keyhole Wall

A wall with a keyhole or some other kind of lock in it. Often found in the "Dungeon Master" game series.



A collection of regions that describe a place.

Marker Layer

The upper layer of a floor where markers are drawn. Many built-in markers are provided (save point, treasure chest, etc.) and custom tiles can also be used.


An icon drawn on a grid tile to indicate some object or effect. Appears above terrain on a separate layer.



A wall with a hole or cavity in it for discrete storage of items or levers.


Onion Skin

Rendering mode where floors immediately above or below are drawn over the active floor, typically (and by default) in silhouette.


Palette Entry

A single color in a palette.


A collection of colors. The default Grid Cartographer palette has 256 entries.


A group of adventurers in an RPG.


A single layer of tiles in a tile-map region. Analogous to a floor in other region types.


File extension of the "Portable Network Graphics" image file format. Supports transparencies and lossless compression.


File extension of the "Photoshop Document" image file format. Be sure to save in 'compatibility mode' from within Photoshop to allow usage with Grid Cartographer.


Region Bar

The toolbar along the bottom of the user interface containing tabs


A collection of floors (or tile-map planes) arranged as a stack, with a constant grid style.


A role-playing game. Typically a story based adventure combined with a numerical combat system and character progression.



A piece of code that Grid Cartographer can execute to perform a function by interacting with the script API.


Terrain Layer

The lower layer of a floor where ground brushes are drawn. Several built-in terrain types are provided (lava, water, etc.) and custom tiles can also be used.


File extension of the "Truevision TARGA" image file format. Supports transparencies via an 8-bit 'alpha channel'.


A collection of color styling options that can be applied on a per-region basis, to set the tone of the map or simply meet your artistic needs.

Tile Map

A 2d map of custom tiles typically used for game development mapping.

Tool Opts.

A user interface panel that allows customisation of the behaviour of a specific tool. Not all tools have these options.

Tool Tip

A floating message that appears when hovering the mouse over a user interface element for a moment. Wait longer for extended information (typically a display of the corresponding keyboard shortcut.)


A table-top RPG. Grid Cartographer can be used to make both battle maps and region maps for these kinds of games.


Name given to a group of fonts in different style combinations. Also known as a font family.



An adjustable window forming part of the main editor. Up to four viewports can be displayed, each capable of showing independent views of the map or other modes.



A plain-text structured document format (short for Extensible Markup Language) that can be used to store generic data. Grid Cartographer provides the ability to export whole maps and individual regions in XML format for game development and visualisation tasks.