ArcGIS Living Atlas

Working with and Customizing Esri Vector Basemaps: The Basics

Updated December 8, 2017:  The Esri Vector Basemaps were recently updated to a new version (v2). The best way to access them in ArcGIS Online is through the Esri owned Vector Basemaps group, which contains the latest set of web maps and tile layers. See What’s New in Esri Vector Basemaps (December 2017) for information related to this update.

Vector Tile Layers can be used to create multi-scale maps that are efficient, high-resolution and customizable. Esri’s Living Atlas Content Team has created vector tile versions of most of our traditional basemaps (plus some new ones), and these work well in themselves.

But have you ever had that moment where you thought ‘This basemap would work really well, if only …’?

These links take you to a sequence of story maps that introduce the mechanics of customization – using our basemaps as a starting point to build something perfectly suited for your work.

Pt 1: Starting

Pt 2: Colors

Pt 3: Lines

Pt 4: Labels

It assumes that you have zero knowledge of working in this environment (editing JSON code), but even if you do know your way around a block of code, it will help you to understand how our maps are structured.

About ajskinner2

Andy is a Cartographic Designer who has been working with Esri in Redlands for 9 years, on projects such as the Urban Observatory, and Green Infrastructure, and most recently on the creation of some of Esri's vector basemaps. Prior to Esri, he was Manager of Cartographic Design at Rand McNally, and before that a Senior Cartographer at GeoSystems/MapQuest. He is originally from England, and worked for a number of years at what is now the University of Derby before moving to the USA. Andy can be contacted at:

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