ArcGIS Pro

How to Visually Illuminate an Area of Interest

Maps, of course, communicate an incredible amount of information. But sometimes this can be a liability⁠—each part of the map drawing as much attention as any other.  Often you want the map reader to focus their attention to a specific area of the map; the rest of the map can remain for context, but just have a more subdued appearance.

Here is one way to do this in ArcGIS Pro.

There are many flavors of this trick that you can use to get just the sort of hey-look-over-here sort of effect you need. The most important thing is to consider what, and where, the map’s job is and design it in a way so that its audience will look right where they ought without effort. Plus it looks pretty cool, and that counts for a lot!

Happy spotlighting! 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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