Category: Mapping

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Making use of [or, Having fun with] ArcGIS Online map layers

By Charlie Frye, Esri Chief Cartographer

Click to see full-size example

Last week in the User Conference, I did a demo for a few people.  To a person, they were delighted to see what was possible.  If you’ve got ArcMap 9.3 and a few minutes, do the following:  Continue reading

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Esri Press presents Map Book Vol. 23

By Charlie Frye, Esri Chief Cartographer

Colors in ArcGIS Symbols - Thumbnail

The Esri Map Book has become an annual must-have collectors item for Esri International User Conference attendees and GIS users alike. The twenty-third volume of the Esri Map Book showcases the innovative and inspiring accomplishments of GIS users around the world. The true excitement of this book lies in the discovery of which maps have made it from the 2007 Esri International User Conference Map Gallery into publication. More than 100 full-color maps are featured from distinct industry categories such as cartography, environmental management, government, natural resources, planning and engineering, tourism, transportation, and utilities. Each map is presented with an insightful description of how it was produced or used. The maps were hand selected by Jack Dangermond, the book edited by Michael Law, and designed by Doug Huibregtse.

Continue reading

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How to scatter stacked or clustered marker symbols for point features

By Charlie Frye, Esri Chief Cartographer

Point Disperse Options

One of the most frequently recurring topics on Mapping Center is what to do with stacks or clusters of point features on maps. In August 2007, I wrote a blog posting on how to use Maplex to display coincident points, and this worked for some scenarios, but not all.

New with 9.3 is a tool called Disperse Markers; it’s in the Cartography toolbox, in the Symbolization Refinement toolset.  The only caveat to using this tool is that your data need to be stored in a geodatabase because the tool works on representation symbology. This will be easier for many map makers, and it will work for more scenarios than the Maplex solution did. Continue reading

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Contour with barriers tool

By Charlie Frye, Esri Chief Cartographer

Not all of the new functionality for mapping and cartography was shown in the mapping section of the What’s New in 9.3 PDF that’s available on the new Resource Center. New with both the 3D and Spatial Analyst Extensions in ArcGIS 9.3 is the Contour with Barriers tool, which generates contours from a raster surface and allows you to limit the creation of the contours to either side of a barrier. This tool has several improvements over the the existing contour tool: Continue reading

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Large-scale street maps that show "real life" road widths

By Charlie Frye, Esri Chief Cartographer

Streets - Thumbnail

We got a good question on Ask a Cartographer this morning. The gist of the question was how to go about symbolizing street centerlines so they could be drawn using line symbol widths that reflected, at scale, the actual width of the road (as shown in the image to the left). This is a good cartographic solution because varying the line width adds hierarchy to the roads -otherwise it would be hard for you map reader to know which are wider or more heavily used. Continue reading

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GCS WGS84: Why should you care about it?

By Charlie Frye, Esri Chief Cartographer

I’ve spent the last few months immersing myself in ArcGIS 9.3, particularly ArcGIS Server and ArcGlobe in order to create some map and globe services and see how they work in ArcGIS clients, Google Earth, and Virtual Earth. These services need to look good and draw fast. One factor that can dramatically influence drawing performance is whether projection-on-the-fly is being used.  Projection-on-the-fly will slow your map down, anywhere from 30% to 1000% slower (depending on the coordinate systems involved). Continue reading

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Maplex: Leader lines and labels for small polygons

By Charlie Frye, Esri Chief Cartographer

Click to see larger image showing the use of leader lines for labels

Whether you’re labeling soils, buildings, geologic units, lakes, or parks; you’ll eventually be faced with the problem of the text for the label being larger than the polygon you’re labeling. In most cases we recommend offsetting the labels from the small polygons and using leader lines to positively associate the label with its feature. The general idea is to split up the labeling of a layer into at least two label classes, one for the normal case, and one for the small features. Continue reading

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Mapping Center and ArcGIS 9.3

By Charlie Frye, Esri Chief Cartographer

ArcGIS 9.3 has hit the streets, meaning some of you should have it in hand this week, and most of you will have it in the coming weeks. After you get it installed definitely read the What’s new in ArcGIS 9.3 PDF [13Mb] (it also installed with ArcGIS 9.3 at C:Program FilesArcGISDocumentationWhats_New_In_ArcGIS_93.PDF). Use the text search (CTRL-F) to find content, like “Maplex” or “Representations”, or whatever term best describes the enhancement you’ve been hoping for. Continue reading

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Copying a representation class

By Charlie Frye, Esri Chief Cartographer

Not long ago we found a workflow that demonstrated how convenient it would be to be able to copy a representation class. The situation arose as we were creating a map service for a map that had been designed for print. The problem was that many of the symbols were too small and detailed to be seen clearly on screen. Our symbols were already cartographic representations, so we didn’t want to edit them (to make them larger) because we still needed them to produce our print map. We also didn’t want to have to create and manage an extra copy of our data just to manage one additional attribute (the one added for representations). Continue reading

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