ArcGIS Pro

Make Waves

A while back my family went to see the animated film, Raya and the Last Dragon. It got mixed reviews from the Nelsons but what really caught my eye was the illustrative cartographic scene used to introduce the back story. It used a charming paper puppet theater aesthetic; the wavy water patterns were especially beautiful. When you are a map nerd it’s the on-screen cartography that tends to make an impact.

Then, this morning, I was looking at my office mate Pepper’s collar. The blue ribs reminded me of that Raya map and I wondered how readily something in that vein could me styled up in ArcGIS Pro. Really readily, it turns out.

Pepper the Dog, with a ribbed collar that gave an idea for a cartographic water pattern.

Here is how to dig into the hatched fill symbology of ArcGIS Pro, to create a fun wave pattern that you can try out for your water features.

Wavy water fill pattern
Wavy water fill pattern
Wavy water fill pattern

And there’s no reason water has to hog all the fun, try out different colors and wave patterns for terrestrial textures.

Triangular wave mountain texture

Here’s the gist if you are pressed for time and/or can’t bear to listen to my nasally Midwestern narration…

Or just watch here…

Make waves, my mappy friends! It’s easy and fun and might be just what your map needs to give it a little bit of watery goodness.

Love, John and Pepper

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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