John Nelson

John Nelson
I have way too much fun looking for ways to understand and present data visually, hopefully driving product strategy and engaging users. I work in the Content team at esri, pushing and pulling data in all sorts of absurd ways -and then talking about it. I also get to spend time with the Story Maps team, working on fun and useful user experiences. When I'm not doing those things, I'm chasing around toddlers and wrangling chickens, and generally getting into other ad-hoc adventures. Life is good.

Recent Posts

How-To: Blended America

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Here is a map in the style of Tim Wallace’s definitive map of the 2016 US Presidential Election. This is a small snapshot of Tim’s maps, for reference… Tim’s unique take, and beautiful craftsmanship, show two Americas, one of Trump and one … Continue reading

Posted in Analysis & Geoprocessing, ArcGIS Pro, Cartographic Design, Editing, Geodata, Mapping, National Government, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

How To Make the Map on the ArcGIS Book

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If you haven’t checked out the new ArcGIS Book: 10 Big Ideas About Applying the Science of Where I think you ought to. It’s a multi-format extravaganza of the how and why of spatial science. In that spirit, wouldn’t you … Continue reading

Posted in Analysis & Geoprocessing, ArcGIS Pro, Cartographic Design, Mapping, The ArcGIS Book, Uncategorized, Web | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

How-To: Electo-Cubo-Gram

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Here is a cartogram showing the comparative number of Electoral College votes per state, and how they voted in the 2016 US Presidential Election. This cartogram was created entirely in ArcGIS Pro. Let’s peel back the covers and take it … Continue reading

Posted in Analysis & Geoprocessing, ArcGIS Pro, Cartographic Design, Mapping, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Firefly Basemap

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It’s here, it’s here! A beta firefly basemap service! Check it… The new Firefly basemap A sample of Firefly in ArcGIS Online Hang on, what/why is Firefly? Cool-blue and warm-red firefly picture symbols Progressive Saturation At broad scales, the firefly … Continue reading

Posted in ArcGIS Online, ArcGIS Pro, ArcMap, Cartographic Design, Imagery, Mapping, Mobile, risk assessment, Security, Uncategorized, Web | Tagged | 2 Comments

Fantasy Maps Pt 3 | Touchability

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Of course it’s the very nature of a fantasy map insert to be revealed via a cover turn, smelled, and traced with a curious finger. So when it comes to creating a fantasy map that begs to be ripped out, … Continue reading

Posted in Analysis & Geoprocessing, Apps, ArcGIS Online, ArcGIS Pro, ArcMap, Cartographic Design, Geodata, Mapping, Uncategorized | Tagged , | 4 Comments

Fantasy Maps Pt 2 | Scratchiness

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We are on a bold quest to reconstruct the Fantasy Map asesthetic in ArcGIS Pro. In Part 1 we hacked the Vector Field symbology to approximate hand-drawn mountainification. Here, in Part 2, we’ll talk about adding hand-drawn scratchiness to the … Continue reading

Posted in ArcGIS Pro, Cartographic Design, Geodata, Mapping, Open Data, Sciences, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Fantasy Maps Pt 1 | Mountainification

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This is part one of a three-part blog extravaganza where I lay out how you might whip up a fantasy-style book-ish illustration-y map insert, in ArcGIS Pro. This technique, which is a total hack (but what isn’t, ultimately), can get … Continue reading

Posted in Analysis & Geoprocessing, ArcGIS Online, ArcGIS Pro, Cartographic Design, Geodata, Imagery, Mapping, Open Data, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | 5 Comments

Fantasy Book Illustration Maps in ArcGIS Pro

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As is the case with most map adventures, I started out working towards something else entirely, and the dark magic of GIS swept me in an altogether different direction. Here is a map from that unexpected journey… This map was … Continue reading

Posted in ArcGIS Pro, Cartographic Design, Geodata, Mapping, Open Data, Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Starbucks vs Dunkin’ Donuts Mega Map Blast

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Data is just maps waiting to be made. And the making of maps is such a fun ride that often there are a bunch of really cool maps that we just blow right through in the map-making process. At the … Continue reading

Posted in Analysis & Geoprocessing, ArcGIS Online, ArcGIS Pro, ArcMap, Cartographic Design, Geodata, Location Analytics, Mapping, Spatial Statistics, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Woodcut Bathymetry Maps

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Please do not read this blog post about how to create woodcut bathymetric maps. Here’s a close-up… You’re still reading?! Ok, I tried. So, this is an intricately machined woodcut map of oceanic bathymetry. Each 1,000 meter depth layer is … Continue reading

Posted in ArcGIS Pro, Cartographic Design, Geodata, Hydro, Mapping, Oceans & Maritime, Open Data, Telecommunications, Water Utilities | 7 Comments