ArcGIS Pro

One Minute Map Hacks: 1-5

Ancient Sumerians used a base-60 system for dividing up a whole into parts, probably because it’s divisible by a lot of small numbers making it a handy and quick shared reference. A couple thousand years or so later, the tremendous polymath Eratosthenes (who, among other things, invented the discipline of geography) used this system to divide up the Earth itself into pieces. This was refined and normalized by Hipparchus a bit later. Ptolemy then expanded these divisions into 360 even slices, but he divided each slice into two levels of the handy Sumerian 60 smaller parts, to support the precision needed by explorers, engineers, and cartographers. These smaller parts were named partes minutae primae (primary smaller parts) and each one of these was further divided into 60 partes minutae secundae (secondary smaller parts). But it’s easier just to say minutes and seconds.

Not coincidentally, clock faces are round and are divided up into even pieces. But it wasn’t until a few hundred years ago that advancements in timekeeping engineering brought about the capacity for more precision and a practical standard was needed for slicing up our newly fastidious concept of time up into smaller parts. Minutes and seconds were right there ready to swoop in and answer the call. Geography to the rescue.

I know it’s a rather bold proposal to ask you to invest a fraction of your allotted time on this earth with me, as I show you some map hack you may or may not already know how to do. But it doesn’t sound as bold when I describe it as one minute fraction of your day, right?

With that in mind, consider the following playlist.

Happy Minute-Mapping! John


P.S. After you have tried out all five of these one-minute hacks, consider doubling down on your one-minute hacking investment by indulging in hacks 6 – 10.

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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