ArcGIS Online

Blend mode mischief: Living Atlas biodiversity as a cookie cutter

Sometimes when you are making a map of a specific topic, all that extra map where the topic…isn’t…is just extra map stealing attention from the theme. Wait, is it even possible to have too much map? Sure! Maps are so achingly gorgeous that of course your eyes want to dart all over them. It’s only natural. But sometimes you just want to tell those eyeballs to focus only on the stuff that matters. In these cases less map is more map. Here’s how to break out the digital white-out and mask over all that extra stuff. We’ll make this reductive style of map in ArcGIS Online using the Vibrant basemap, a glorious Biodiversity layer from Living Atlas, and some crafty blend mode shenanigans.

0:00: Willow introduces herself. Yes, the Willow that invented felt maps.

0:05: How to find the Map Viewer Beta.

0:25: How to add Living Atlas content to a web map.

1:04: How to apply a blend mode.


Couldn’t be easier! I, like Willow, hope you try out blend modes and explore the ways that they can help you hammer content into communication.

Happy smashing! John

About the author

I have far too much fun looking for ways to understand and present data visually, hopefully driving product strategy and engaging users. I work in the ArcGIS Living Atlas team at Esri, pushing and pulling data in all sorts of absurd ways and then sharing the process. I also design user experiences for maps and apps. 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. You might also like these Styles for ArcGIS Pro:

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