ArcGIS Pro

Steal this Lego Map Style for ArcGIS Pro, please

Everything is awesome!

Feel free to skip all this blog stuff and go directly to the Lego Map style for ArcGIS Pro.

I, as well as you, grew up playing with Lego. And there is no reason that ever has to stop. And just because we make maps, that doesn’t mean some of those maps can’t look like they were assembled out of tiny plastic bricks! Exhibit A:

Click to behold the wonders of the sea...

But I made this Lego-looking map via a manual process of tessellation, etc. I was not clever enough to make a dynamic style that would just Lego-up my maps for me. But then I stumbled into using marker symbols to make Larry King Live sorts of dotted background map sorts of things that graphic designers like. And the gears started turning.

Of course I don’t need to convince you of the charm, educational utility, considered minimalism, and pure joy that Lego brings to the world. So why would I need to convince you that making maps in a Lego aesthetic is worth your while?

This ArcGIS Pro style makes any vector point, line, or polygon layer look like a grid of little plastic nobly studs, ready to capture eyeballs and whip up unbridled excitement for skeuomorphic cartography! Plus it always re-sorts itself as you zoom in and out, always looking nice and blocky.
Created in collaboration with Warren Davison, this style is ready to assemble your map into little Lego wonders.
Here are some snapshots for you to peruse.
Click to embiggen...
Click to embiggen...
Click to embiggen...
Click to embiggen...
Click to embiggen...

The technique is based mainly on these two sneaky texture overlays I made. They sit atop a dynamically colorable background element so you can use the symbology panel to apply any and all sorts of colors and color ranges to your bricks.

And since you need a nice solid surface to do your building on, I’ve also included some background textures that you can apply to your Layout background, or to this Global Background layer. You can build on a wood table top, Formica, a table cloth, or craft paper, or choose the classic bright green base plate. There is no wrong choice.

Happy assembling! John Nelson

P.S. You are not morally obligated to share images of the cool bricky maps you make with this style, but shoot I sure would love to see them!

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 Content team at Esri, pushing and pulling data in all sorts of absurd ways -and then talking about it. I also get to spend time with the Story Maps team, working on fun and useful user experiences. 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. Loads more how-to posts: esri.com/arcgis-blog/author/j_nelson/ My YouTube channel: youtube.com/c/JohnNelsonMaps Loads of Styles for Pro: esriurl.com/nelsonstyles Instagram: instagram.com/johnmnelson/

Connect:

Next Article

Use World Imagery Wayback to create a custom basemap

Read this article