ArcGIS Pro

How to Make an Area of Interest Fill Effect Like This 1912 USGS Topo

Yesterday in Sarah Bell’s blog post sharing her new custom font, I really liked one of the maps she provided as an inspiration. A USGS topo quad for Mt. Goddard, CA, which included a bit of King’s Canyon National Park.  It inspired me too, but what caught my eye was the handsome red hatched area of interest ribbon surrounding the park.

Aside: curious what you call these. Allen Carroll, who was the chief cartographer at National Geographic, told me he always called the colored inner band within a polygon’s perimeter a “ribbon.” Good enough for me.

I wanted to take a closer look at the map so I searched the ArcGIS Living Atlas of the World for the USGS Historic Topographic Map Explorer. After a bit of hunting and pecking around King’s Canyon I found the 1912 topo map in question.

Here’s a close-up of the ribbon that got my attention…

This is what I notice about the area of interest symbol…

Totally doable in ArcGIS Pro. So I opened a project and pulled in some National Park polygons. Here’s the process of finding the source map, fetching parks form the Living Atlas, and styling in the same way as the 1912 map…

There you go! Here’s a re-cap…

Accidental lessons:

Direct lessons:

Happy Mapping! 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: esri.com/arcgis-blog/author/j_nelson/ My YouTube channel: youtube.com/c/JohnNelsonMaps Loads of Styles for Pro: esriurl.com/nelsonstyles Instagram: instagram.com/johnmnelson/

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