What I'd like to see: a simple map-creating program. Map as in real map, roads and bridges. Why: paper maps can sometimes be inaccurate, so I need to make corrections, or I may need to annotate, such as add buildings, with notes about them. (The notes should be hideable, so they don't cover everything up, or insertable at odd angles so they fit between roads.)
Method: scan an existing map to create a picture file. Set it as a background. Draw features on top of it, adding/correcting as you go. The background of course would have copyright issues, but your hand-copy should not, especially since the entire purpose is to create something different. Obviously it would take too long to hand-make an entire city, but that is not my need. Typically all I need is a neighborhood. Print the custom part, leaving the scanned part behind.
Drawing features: It is important that the "pen" be able to draw with standard map symbols. For instance, an unpaved road should be two lines running parallel, not a single black line. A paved road, two lines, with black bars between them, spaced. You know, you've seen maps. (Freebie maps lately are useless, as roads and rivers are all single lines, the only way to tell them apart is the roads are completely covered over in numbers, which hides any other possible useful detail. This is a big reason I'd like to make my own local maps.) Building symbols built-in (resizable squares, rectangles, etc.) And of course thin-line drawing, and new symbol creation.
You may say, just use GPS. OK, but I want something I can keep for later, complete with notes, and go back and add to it later. And print out to give to others, say with driving directions on it. How do you do that on a GPS?
Don't recommend SmartDraw, as that is not the KIND of maps I mean, and it is huge.
Creating/editing a road should be simple and intuitive, for example: connect two endpoints using the "unpaved road" pen, then using a "pusher" or "bulldozer" cursor, nudge the road into curves. Sort of like putting a bead chain down on a table-top and pushing it around with your finger. Not infinitely segmented, but finely enough that the end result is reasonable. (Alternately, click along the road to create hinges, then select each in turn and pull it to the place needed. Probably easier to code. In fact this is what the circuit-board program ExpressPCB does. If that program permitted picture background and road-line drawing, plus more simultaneous color choices, it would already do what I need.)
Since no one on planet earth is offering this kind of map-specific drawing program (and even if a massive graphics program could do this, I'd prefer something easier to learn and use and compact; but I don't think they can do this) this is an opportunity for some enterprising coder.