ArcGIS Pro

Steal this Hachure Style for Pro, Please

There was a time when a cartographer would roll up their sleeve, dip their quill, and breathe topographic life onto a parchment. And that time is now! Download this ArcGIS Pro style to get hachure mapping in no time!

What is a hachure? Well, my friend, you are in the right place. Settle into your dimpled leather chair . Draw your whale oil lamp close and adjust your monocle. A hachure is a means of sketching downhill lines along elevation contours to create a rich pseudo-realistic topographic texture to a map, often used for field sketches of general topography but sometimes for richly precise surveyed maps too. The lines do a great job of indicating slope (wow those mountain line-things are really packed in there!) and aspect (ah, that’s the way this slope is facing) and, let’s be honest, they do a great job of looking cool. When coolness and practicality converge, then you know you are on to something.

Hachures also help overcome relief inversion, or just the general I-can’t-tell-if-this-is-a-hill-or-a-depression-ism, that can sometimes plague standard (unhached) contour lines. The hachures tell us which way is up. Which I often need.

Here’s an example showing the floor of the Atlantic, in the “rubble” style over archival cotton paper.

Ok, if you need any more justification for the scientific and artistic prowess of hachures than you’ll have to find inspiration elsewhere. It’s all examples and links from here on…

Here is the ArcGIS Pro style used to render these hachure maps. Save it to your machine (it will have a .stylx extension), then in your Pro project’s Catalog view or panel, choose the “Styles” folder. Then right-click and choose “Add Style” then point it to the stylx file you saved. Thereafter it will be available in the Gallery view of your symbology panel (giving you point, line, or polygon hachure styles depending on what sort of feature you have selected).


Some other companion resources…

Happy Hachure Mapping! John Nelson

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:


Next Article

Mind the map: a new design for the London Underground map

Read this article