Category: Mapping

Symbolizing roads with cased line symbols (part 3 of 3)

By Charlie Frye, Esri Chief Cartographer

Example on USGS 1:24,000 scale map of cul-de-sacs

This final part of the series will cover using cartographic representations for dashed lines, like the red and white cased lines in the image at the left, and for creating cul-de-sac or squared off ends to streets.  Both of these effects will build on the examples in the previous two portions of this series with one exception.  Because we will be using cartographic representations for the streets, we will be better able to manage line caps and therefore will not need to use the Dissolve tool to dissolve the streets by name, type, and z-level.  The removal of this step is significant because now an extra dataset is not required just to have cartographic quality streets; everything needed for a high quality cartographic depiction of streets can be stored in attributes. This should come as good news to those of you who have mentioned to us, many times, that managing additional datasets for the sake of cartography is not only a data management, but a political hurdle, that you would just as soon not have to deal with. Continue reading

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Symbolizing roads with cased line symbols (part 2 of 3)

By Charlie Frye, Esri Chief Cartographer

Example of masking on a USGS 1:24,000 scale map

Symbolizing road overpasses or underpasses typically requires that you perform two data preparation steps.  First, identify which roads overpass other roads.  This may be very simple intersections between two roads, or it may include many other roads when dealing with complex highway interchanges.  Second, represent the interchanges clearly.  This task may mean simply changing feature or layer drawing order, or it can also mean knocking out or masking portions of underpassing features.  The image to the left shows the underpassing highway being masked by an overpassing street and railroad. Continue reading

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Symbolizing roads with cased line symbols (part 1 of 3)

By Charlie Frye, Esri Chief Cartographer

Roads Cased Part 1 - Thumb

This is the first of three parts that cover how to symbolize roads with cased line symbols.  This first part will cover how to symbolize road centerline data so that the symbols look good, the second part will cover data modeling and symbolizing underpass/overpass relationships, and the third part will deal with symbolizing cul-de-sacs versus dead-end streets.  The primary inspiration for this task is the design of the USGS 1:24,000-scale topographic quadrangle maps. To the left is an example from the 1952 Manchester, New Hampshire map. Continue reading

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Learn about the categories

By Charlie Frye, Esri Chief Cartographer

Category Description
ArcGIS Methods Use of ArcGIS to accomplish specific cartographic tasks.
Cartographic Effects “What”, “why” and “how” about achieving special cartographic techniques.
Cartographic Design Visual hierarchy, figure-ground, legibility, visual clarity, visual flow, etc.
Symbology Assignment of qualitative and quantitative meaning to signs (color, size, shape, etc.)
Cartographic Representation Use of cartographic representations in the map production process.
Data Modeling Modeling GIS data for mapping and geoprocessing.
General Information Announcements and information about Mapping Center, cartographic resources and events, etc.
Labeling Type elements (font, size, form, etc.) and type placement.
Map Data Specific themes of data, e.g., transportation, hydrography, cultural, etc.
Map Elements Scale bars, north arrows, legends, tables, graphs, text blocks, etc.
Maplex Use of the Maplex Label Engine.
Page Layout Arrangement of the content on the page.
Publishing Printing and output for print, printing press, digital static or digital interactive media.
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Using rotation angles for markers, lines, or polygon fills

By Aileen Buckley, Mapping Center Lead

Rotation Angles - Thumbnail

If having the proper orientation, or rotation angle is an important characteristic of your symbols, it is important to make sure your symbols accurately display the phenomenon they depict. Thus, I thought it would be a good idea to review the use of rotation angles in ArcMap.

You have probably set rotation angles for symbols, (markers, hash lines, and Line or gradient fills), your data frame, and maybe even for point features which can be rotated by the angle stored in a field. Most of you already know your own data well, but if you’ve
ever downloaded data or inherited legacy data, you may not know which way the rotation angles were calculated (so if you publish data, remember to invest a few minutes in authoring the metadata).

ArcGIS has tools and functionality that may use any of three rotation methods:  Geographic, Arithmetic, and Graphic.

Continue reading

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Creating street name indexes

By Charlie Frye, Esri Chief Cartographer

Sample of a portion of a street name index

We received a suggestion to write a blog entry on this topic from Anna Schwabedal, who is a technical sales representative for Esri Germany.  Anna gave us a rough idea of how this works and I was able to use that when this topic came up through Ask a Cartographer recently, and I’ve worked on it a bit since then in order to write this. Continue reading

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About the Weather style

By Jaynya Richards, Esri Research Cartographer

Weather - Examples of wind barb symbols

The Weather style supports creating several common weather charts. These charts depict sky conditions, wind speed & direction, and precipitation. The symbols are based on weather and climate related maps and graphics designed by staff at the Center for Ocean Land-Atmosphere Studies (COLA). COLA is a center jointly supported by NOAA, NSF, and NASA. This Weather style also has symbols for weather station models (Surface, Upper, Forecast), cloud cover, station wind, pressure fronts, and precipitation. Continue reading

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Creating lists or stacks of marker symbols with cartographic representations

By Peter Kasianchuk, Mapping Center Cartographer
Example of a list of markers showing the available services and amenities

A number of maps, particularly those geared towards outdoor tourism, rely on a convention that uses standard icons to list the services or amenities that are available at some place on the map. Using cartographic representations simplifies what used to be a rather unwieldy task from the perspectives of data modeling, data management, and symbology. Continue reading

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Tips for editing your style files with Microsoft Access

By Charlie Frye, Esri Chief Cartographer

The style files that are installed with ArcMap are actually Microsoft Access databases, the file extension was changed from .mdb to .style.  Based on this knowledge, we’ll describe a few useful things you can do to edit your style files using Microsoft Access. These tasks are either not possible or a bit tedious to accomplish easily in ArcMap.

First you’ll need to open your style with Microsoft Access. To do that, launch Microsoft Access, from the file menu choose Open, and in the File Name box, type “*.style”.  Then browse to where your styles are located.  Choose a style file and open it. Continue reading

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Omit specific features from display using cartographic representations

By Aileen Buckley, Mapping Center Lead

If you want to remove selected features from display with standard ArcMap symbol management tools, you need to use the Layer Properties to do so.  Typically this might mean using a Definition Query based on a feature attribute value, or a classification scheme which excludes a range of attribute values.  Cartographic representations provide you with a method for removing features from display, this method is based on graphic selection. Continue reading

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