ArcGIS Pro

One Minute Map Hacks: 11-15

Shoot, I have to admit, I have a lot of fun with these things. I realized that much of what I do is a strung-together series of little hacks. I sort of hope that, in the future, when I make a finished map, I can describe it as a sequence of these one-minute hack videos. Like a choose-your-own-adventure sort of recipe.

“For this trail map I fired off hacks 7, 4, 12, and 19, then rounded it off with 21 and 3.”

That sort of thing. Anyway, I do hope that you occasionally notice something that can help you along in your own mapping adventures or spark entirely new directions. In the meantime I’m having a blast sharing.

An impossibly simple labeling trick to make typographic maps. Beyond that, there are all sorts of more practical uses for drawing linear features with their names, like street names or speeds, rivers, historic voyage names, trails, animal migrations…

A little bit of plausible texture can draw way more attention to your map. Here’s a quick example using a tattered paper background and overlay, and here are the resources: Hand-drawn styles a-plenty for ArcGIS Pro. Here are those paper background/overlay images (like a 34MB zip folder). And more of a step-by-step blog resource here.

You don’t need a ton of fancy graphic design tools to get handy samples of actual vintage map textures for your pseudo-vintage modern map adventures. The Library of Congress map collection viewer makes it simple and fun. Check out their bonkers twitter account. Here is a direct link to the map I sample from in the video. The vector map layers seen in this demo come from Project Linework‘s “Moriarty Hand” by Dylan Moriarty:

Easily my favorite feature of ArcGIS Pro is its amazing control over transparency. Both within color gradients, and opacity at the feature-level so that you can make awesome stacked-up illumination-type maps of big data. That’s what I show here…

As you may know, when it comes to symbology, I like to enthingify them with light and shadow. But I also like to enthingify overview globes because it’s just the right thing to do and I’m not a monster.

There it is! One-minute map hacks 11-15. Visit the full playlist here if you have 15 minutes of your allotted time on this earth to…invest.

Hacky 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 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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