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ArcWatch: Your e-Magazine for GIS News, Views, and Insights

December 2011


New Content, Basemaps, and Tools Added to ArcGIS Online

By Maria Lomoro
Esri Product Marketing

an example of the Light Gray Canvas map
Create visually compelling maps that highlight patterns using the Light Gray Canvas map.

ArcGIS Online continues to grow in popularity by providing useful basemaps and tools for people from all over the world who work with geographic content.

For example, Esri recently added the Light Gray Canvas map to the ArcGIS Online basemap collection, which you can find in the arcgis.com map viewer and ArcGIS Explorer Online. The Light Gray Canvas map features an overall soft gray color for land and darker gray for oceans and other bodies of water. These shades provide a pleasing neutral background so that data overlays contrast sharply with the rest of the map. With fewer features and labels on the map, you have more freedom to color and label your own data. The map is a perfect alternative to traditional basemaps, which can have an abundance of detail that obscures data overlays.

Any existing map backdrop can be changed to the canvas map for a cleaner, less cluttered presentation of your operational or custom data.

Esri's new Ocean Basemap was also recently added to the basemap gallery in the arcgis.com map viewer and ArcGIS Explorer Online.

Contributions to the World Topographic Map

The World Topographic map includes new geographic content for Great Britain, Ghana, Spain, the Netherlands, and the United States, along with several areas in Canada such as Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, and Gatineau, Quebec.

Content was updated and expanded for Greece and certain areas in the United States, including Delaware County, Ohio, and Washington, D.C. Data from DeLorme and NAVTEQ has also been added for several areas around the globe, including North America, Australia, New Zealand, and Southern Africa.

The same data from DeLorme and NAVTEQ has also been added to the World Street map. Data for Great Britain, Spain, and the Netherlands was contributed through the Community Maps Program.

The World Topographic and World Street maps and associated reference layers have been updated with the latest available NAVTEQ data for North America and Europe. Both maps include additional levels of detail, globally to a scale of 1:72,000, and for areas where large-scale data is available (e.g., North America, South America, and Europe) and US nationwide, to a scale of 1:4,000. For metropolitan areas, these maps go down to 1:1,000.

More recent and detailed imagery for the United States has been added to the World Imagery map for several states such as Virginia, Alaska, and New York, along with some metropolitan areas. Many of the updates were received through the Community Maps Program. These updates also include the latest Aerials Express and National Agriculture Imagery Program (NAIP) imagery from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Service Agency.

Set the transparency to bring layers to the forefront.
Set the transparency to bring layers to the forefront.

World Imagery, World Topographic, and World Street are the three community maps that Esri maintains. These maps become more detailed thanks to contributions from GIS organizations around the world. Organizations contribute authoritative data for the maps to Esri's Community Maps Program, and that data is then blended into one of the three basemaps that Esri hosts and publishes for anyone to use free of charge. The World Topographic map is updated monthly. The World Street map and World Imagery map are updated at least twice annually. For a complete list of all community maps updates and more details, visit the Community Maps Resource Center.

Updates to Task Services

The ArcGIS Online World Geocoding Service address locators now use NAVTEQ data. The European address locator has been updated with NAVTEQ Q1 2011 reference data, and the North American address locator has been updated with NAVTEQ Q4 2011 reference data. You can use both locators to perform single address, reverse, and batch geocoding to find and display an address on a map.

The World Routing Service uses NAVTEQ data now too. European routing has been updated with NAVTEQ Q1 2011 reference data, and North American routing has been updated with NAVTEQ Q4 2010 reference data. You can use both routing services to create street-level multistep and optimized routes between two or more points, along with driving directions.

A Better Map Viewer

You will see several new improvements to the arcgis.com map viewer. A measuring tool was added to make it easy to determine the length of a line, the area of a polygon, or the coordinates of a point on a map. The map viewer now supports bookmarks, so you can quickly navigate to a specific location or extent.

You can now set the transparency of a basemap through layer properties. This will tone down the transparency of your basemap and bring out the other layers. You can do this directly from within the map viewer by hovering over a basemap name in the map contents window.

For a complete list of updates, go to the Help Topics menu on arcgis.com and click What's New.

 
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