By Don Cooke – Community Maps Product Manager
New Design of the World Topographic Community Map to Debut in October
Since 2009, the World Topographic Map has been the flagship community map in the ArcGIS Online suite of map and imagery offerings. Esri’s Mapping Center created several designs for the North American, International, and campus mapping. Over the years mapping agencies ranging from National Map Agencies to cities, towns, national parks and universities have contributed data to the World Topo to make it increasingly authoritative and current.
Up until now the World Topographic Map has featured a number of styles across North America, Europe and the rest of the world. Participants have provided feedback about the map design, suggesting that the various styles be consolidated, that scale transitions be smoother and that be map should work better as a basemap backdrop for thematic and operational data. In 2011, Damien Demaj started work on redesigning the World Topo. Damien is best known for his work on the largest atlas ever made (6’ X 4.5’), published by Millenium House. The ArcGIS Online team is scheduling release of the new Topo design to coincide with the streamlined Community Maps 2.0 data contribution system featured in Seth’s blog post of August 13th. Use this link for a preview web map of San Diego California in the new design.
New Topo Rollout Schedule
The transition to the new design in the World Topographic Map Service will take place over several months. In late October, the new design will debut for global and continental scales worldwide and medium scales where commercial data sources permit. Europe, Mexico and the US will display the new look down to large scales. At very large scales (1:1000 – 1:9000), city and county-level participant contributions will appear in the original format, with the exception of a few areas that pioneered testing the new design. Some US and German states and national contributions will also appear in the original format. Netherlands will be pioneering the new design at nationwide coverage.
As regular ArcGIS Online updates proceed through the end of 2012 and into 2013, more and more coverage will cut over to the new design. We plan to have all areas at all scales converted to the new design before the 2013 User Conference in July.
A Call to Action for Community Maps Participants
If you’re a Community Maps participant, you’ve probably figured this out already: Over the coming months, we’ll be calling on you to update your contributions for publication in the new map design. As Seth points out, there are two ways to update: one, sign up for Community Maps 2.0 and submit your data in the new Community Maps geodatabase format – a subset of the Local Government Information Model. The second “Classic” way is to download the template for the new Topo design, author and cache the map, and send us the cache. All the materials for both approaches are online for you now:
If you’ve just finished building a cache in the old design, please get it to us by the end of October, and work with us to QC it by the end of the year. If you can meet that schedule, we’ll publish it as soon as possible, but we’ll need it replaced by a cache in the new format by March 31, 2013. Given those constraints, it may make sense to go straight to the new design, especially if you can submit updated data to the CM 2.0 program in the CM geodatabase format.
Reiterating the key dates: We need your cache in the new design ASAP and no later than March 31, 2013 with QC review completed by May 15th.
I would like to leave you with one more possibility: remember that the new Topo consolidates previous designs with the campus template, so you can now display much more detail if your data support it. The new CM geodatabase allow you to bring in far more detail than ever before: trees, parking lots, and stadium detailing. Switching to the new design gives you an opportunity not only to update your data contribution but to show off your jurisdiction in ways not previously possible.
Do contact us with any questions!