Tag: ArcGIS Methods

Symbolizing trees in ArcGIS: Assigning each species a different symbol

By Mamata Akella, Esri Design Cartographer

Tree thumb

Tree symbols are a great way to enhance the appearance of a large scale, detailed map. To make attractive point symbols for trees, you need a good place to start from and thankfully all of us ArcGIS users have that. Using multi-layer character marker symbols, the variety of tree symbols you can create is endless. This blog is meant to introduce (or reintroduce) you to the Esri US Forestry 2 font. It is also meant to give you some tips for creating a variety of tree symbols to use on your maps. Continue reading

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Make a map of Washington Elevation–or a similar map for somewhere else!

By Mamata Akella, Esri Design Cartographer

Washington Elevation Thumb

One of the presentations we gave at this year’s User Conference was “The One Minute Cartographer”. While we were developing the presentation, we had several intentions in mind. Most importantly, we wanted to demonstrate to the attendees of our session that making a good map in ArcGIS isn’t always as hard as it seems – often times, it is just a matter of going one or two steps beyond the defaults. Another thing that was really important to us was to make sure that all the data we used to produce this map was also available to you, so we used data on the Esri Data and Maps DVD. In addition, we wanted to create a set of resources with great potential to help map makers in a variety of ways.

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How to use Geologic Mapping Template symbology with your database schema

By Janel Day, Esri Cartographic Product Engineer

Geologic Mapping Template - Thumbnail

A common question we receive goes something like, ‘How can I use symbols from the Geologic Mapping Template with my database?’  The solution is simple, once you have downloaded the geologic mapping template, follow these steps to add its representation symbology to your geodatabase: Continue reading

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The Buffer Wizard in ArcMap

By Margaret Maher, Esri Support Services Specialist

Buffer thumbnail

There are two tools you can use to create buffers in ArcGIS—the Buffer tool in ArcToolbox and the Buffer Wizard. Buffers are used not only in analysis of distances and areas around point, line and area features, they are also used in mapping to achieve a number of cartographic effects, such as coastal vignettes. Since there are two tools and multiple methods you can use to create buffers, and each have their particular strengths and weaknesses, we thought it would be good to review these for you. In a related blog post, we’ll describe the tools and methods, how they differ and what you need to consider when using them. Continue reading

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The "map sandwich"

By Charlie Frye, Esri Chief Cartographer

Map Sandwich - Thumbnail

Last week we started telling you about the new ArcGIS Online World Topographic Map. As I was working on the design of that map, with the intent of providing a better basis for mash-ups, I had an idea. It was born of frustration with the fact some mash-ups don’t work because too much information obscures the base map, making for an unreadable, often ugly result. Demographic layers represent a great example of the kind of information that just doesn’t always work well in a simple mash-up.

What I really needed was a way to “sandwich” the demography layer between the terrain and the reference information–that way the reference information would be legible, and I would still be able to understand the demography. Continue reading

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Getting started with map templates: Live training seminar

By Matthew Baker, Esri Software Engineer

Angular Units Thumbnail

On Thursday, June 25, Charlie Frye (Esri Mapping Center) and Mark Ho (Esri Educational Services) will present the Live Training Seminar Getting Started with Map Templates at 9am, 11am, and 3pm Pacific Time. This seminar will provide an overview of what map templates contain, how to get started, and how to adapt the contents of the templates or evolve your data to your mapping needs. Participants will learn where to find and download map templates. Templates include example map documents, data models, geoprocessing tools, and more—each template is a complete solution for a given kind of map. This seminar will then discuss how you can use your data with map templates to produce professional quality basemaps and publish them.

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Historical GIS template: Boston 1775

By Charlie Frye, Esri Chief Cartographer

This post, is to announce the release of a map template for historical GIS called Historical GIS:  Boston 1775. If you’ve never given historical GIS a second, or a first thought, you might find the contents interesting and maybe even applicable to your work. Consider that the vast majority of GIS data is historical, even if it’s only a few minutes old.

Genealogy and history have been hobbies of mine for years now, and I’ve since developed an interest in colonial U.S. history– in particular, the U.S. Revolutionary War. For me, GIS and mapping provided an obvious way to make sense of the history I found fascinating. As such, I found it more than a little ironic that relatively few of the historically-inclined geographers I’ve met had turned to GIS much less demonstrated GIS-based methods as a sound basis for scholarly historical inquiry. But, I’ve been happy enough to take that opportunity to blaze a trail. Continue reading

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About geographic transformations and how to choose the right one

By Aileen Buckley, Mapping Center Lead

The Earth as a sphere

You will often be prompted to select the geographic transformation when you are projecting data or setting the projection of a data frame in a map document. Here are some concepts that might help you understand what this is all about AND how to make the right selection.

First, “geographic coordinates” are expressed in terms of latitude and longitude. “Latitude” is the north-south angular measure from the equator to the point of interest. “Longitude” is the east-west angular measure along the equator from the prime meridian to the point of interest’s longitude. Continue reading

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Quick & dirty method & tips for creating building footprint features

By Charlie Frye, Esri Chief Cartographer

quick and dirty buildings at 1:14,000

From time to time we’ve had to create some building footprint data. A colleague was in my office yesterday looking at the map to the right, and remarked that he thought that adding building footprints to maps “humanizes” the map. An interesting observation, and one that I’m not inclined to argue against.

We’ve learned a few tricks for making haste with little or Continue reading

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Tips for hillshade data management

By Charlie Frye, Esri Chief Cartographer

Hillshade Thumbnail

We’ve blogged about symbolizing hillshades (rasters that are derived from elevation raster datasets, like DEMs, via the Hillshade tool), but never really covered the basics of the data used to create hillshades, so we wanted to take a minute and share a few best practices we’ve been adopting.

Before getting started, though, it’s worth noting that we’ve been storing our rasters in file geodatabases. For us, these included some rather large hillshade datasets, ranging between 5Gb and 60Gb.

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