ArcGIS Online

Earth At Night X-Ray Vision with ArcGIS Online Blend Modes

Blend modes give me the sort of feeling like when I was a kid and all these grown-ups were doing this confounded separated finger trick and I know they aren’t really ripping their finger off but for crying out loud how are they doing it then I crack the code and the whole world becomes at once, yes, a little smaller, but also ripe with new wonder at the tangible accessibility of illusion and dexterous slight of hand.

I’m sure you feel exactly the same way.

0:00 Meaningless chit chat.

0:15 How to get to the Map viewer Beta.

0.30 Setting basemap to (daytime) World Imagery (which, eh-hem, has been recently saturated and bumpified).

0:38 Adding a tiled-up NASA Earth at Night layer from Living Atlas.

1:45 Applying the Overlay blend mode.

2:30 Beholding the marvel of an x-ray vision perspective of an Earth at Night.

3:35 Changing a map’s background color, yes!

4:05 Back to rambling about how cool it looks. What a time to be alive, etc.

Love, 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 Content team at Esri, pushing and pulling data in all sorts of absurd ways -and then talking about it. I also get to spend time with the Story Maps team, working on fun and useful user experiences. 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. Loads more how-to posts: My YouTube channel: Loads of Styles for Pro: Instagram:


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Chris Bruce
Chris Bruce

Very cool! It even distracted my kid from playing Minecraft for a few moments. Now the big question that’s on everyone’s mind – when is blending coming to ArcGIS Pro?

Guenter Doerffel
Guenter Doerffel

First of all: John, another great piece of advice! Like!
And for Chris: Blending in Pro can be done with Python – as there are nice implementations of blending available forl the Python Image Library (PIL). I’ve got a Raster Function Template that does it for two RGB(A) Raster Layers (but Raster Layers only). Similar a simple Alpha chanel RFT can help you to just fade a raster a little different than just setting it to transparent.
Let me know if you are interested …

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