Tag: ArcGIS Methods

Vegetation map inspires a style with great colors

By Jaynya Richards, Esri Research Cartographer

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Because we love the colors used on the vegetation map in the The National Atlas of the United States of America, one of our cartographers put together a style with these colors so you can use them on your maps, too. You can download the style from here on Mapping Center’s ArcGIS Resources > Styles page.

The National Atlas of the United States of America was published by the US Geological Survey (USGS) in 1970 and edited by Arch C. Gerlach (figure 1). Continue reading

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Marker fill symbols add realism to your maps

By Aileen Buckley, Mapping Center Lead

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Another way to create polygon symbols that appear more realistic is to use marker fill symbols that mimic what you would see on the ground, but also to vary them so that they do not clip at the polygon edges (figures 1 and 2). Continue reading

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Picture fill symbols add realism to your maps

By Aileen Buckley, Mapping Center Lead

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The key to using a picture fill symbol when imparting realism is to choose one that has a random appearance. Another trick is to pick one that looks something like the type of feature you are mapping. A number of pictures are provided with ArcGIS, and many of them fit these criteria. Follow the steps below to see how you can apply this symbology on your maps using pictures provided by Esri. Continue reading

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Polygon fill symbols add realism to your maps

By Aileen Buckley, Mapping Center Lead

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When working with polygon data, it is common to symbolize these features with a colored fill and an outline (figure 1). However, if you are trying to create a realistic impression on your map, this symbology works against you. In the real world, we rarely see lines around areas, and the inside of those areas is rarely the same color everywhere. Continue reading

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Sun glints add realism to your map

By Aileen Buckley, Mapping Center Lead

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Sun glints are a way to add a more realistic effect to your map by modulating the tone of water features. We rarely see flat tones in nature, so using sun glints simulates the subtle tonal variations caused by the reflection of sunlight off a water surface. This method was first described in Tom Patterson’s article, “Getting Real: Reflecting on the New Look of National Park Service Maps” on his Shaded Relief web site. Although he describes how he achieved the effect using Photoshop, this tip describes how you can use ArcMap to accomplish the same thing. Continue reading

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Combining colored and grayshade rasters with high fidelity

By Rajinder Nagi, Esri Cartographic Product Engineer

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Have you ever noticed when you display a colored raster, such as elevation tints, transparently over a grayscale raster, such as a hillshaded surface, that you lose the intensity of your colors and that it is harder to see the hillshade details? This is a problem common to all software in which colors and grayshades are combined.

In this blog entry, we explain how you can overlay colored rasters on graytone rasters without losing detail in the graytones or intensity in the   colors. The example here uses a colormap file and mosaic dataset functions. In a related blog entry, we demonstrate the same overlay method using color ramps and Image Analysis functions. No matter how you work with your rasters, this new overlay method will allow you to retain the detail and colors in the overlaid rasters. Continue reading

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Creating a grayscale version of any ArcGIS Online basemap

By Rajinder Nagi, Esri Cartographic Product Engineer

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We recently got a question on Ask a Cartographer in which Julie asked if you can create a grayscale basemap from any of the colored basemaps that you add from ArcGIS Online. One solution is to use the approach Ismael described in his blog entry Crafting Your Own Basemap Styles with Flex or Silverlight. His approach involves the use of matrices to transform RGB colors, scale RGB colors, and control hue, saturation and contrast. This approach is useful if you want to change the way the basemap is rendered when using Flex or Silverlight to serve a Web map. In this blog entry, we describe how you can “transform” a colored basemap to a grayscale one directly in ArcMap.

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Using ETOPO1 data

By Aileen Buckley, Mapping Center Lead

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In a previous blog entry called “Using the Global Self-consistent, Hierarchical, High-resolution Shoreline Database“, we described a detailed and useful worldwide dataset — the GSHHS dataset that provides global coverage at five levels of generalization for oceans/land, lakes, islands in lakes, and ponds on islands in lakes. Continue reading

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Creating radial flow maps with ArcGIS

By Mamata Akella, Esri Design Cartographer

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Flow maps show the movement of some phenomenon, normally goods or people, from one place to another. Lines are used to symbolize the flow, typically varied in width to represent differences in the quantity of the flow. In broad terms there are three main types of flow map: radial, network and distributive. Radial flow maps have a spoke-like pattern because the features and places are mapped in nodal form with one place being a common origin or destination. Network flow maps are used to show interconnectivity between places and are usually based on transportation or communication linkages. Distributive flow maps typically show the distribution of commodities or some other flow that diffuses from origins to multiple destinations. Continue reading

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Making golf course maps with ArcMap

By Wes Jones, Esri Design Cartographer

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How many of you out there are golfers? Can any of you remember your lowest round? I can – I shot a marvelous 83! Sure it was over 9 holes, but I was playing from the Pro’s tee box…

Whether you golf or not, how many of you have had to make a map of a golf course? A while back, one of you asked us on Ask a Cartographer how to make the checkered pattern found on a golf course:

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