ArcGIS Pro

Storybook cartography

ArcGIS Pro is a serious tool for serious GIS analysis. Are you ready for some seriously charming illustration style cartography? Ok!

illustration-style cartography in ArcGIs Pro
illustration-style cartography in ArcGIs Pro
illustration-style cartography in ArcGIs Pro

Children’s maps are a valuable thing. They are often the first impressions the world of geography has on every single one of us. What an opportunity!

These maps use a handful of tricks and an incredibly tall stack of symbol layers. Maybe a storybook illustration style map is just what you need. And if not, I can assure you there are plenty of symbology tricks in here that you can use for far less whimsical aims. Here’s a how-to…

0:00 Before-after intro, including singing
0:12 Grabbing/tweaking hand-drawn land data
0:56 Creating a cartoon coast with the offset and move effects
2:45 Adding some dirt texture
5:14 Blue coastal water glow
6:42 Tufty turf effect around the edge of the land
10:00 Water lines!
12:32 Little bit of shadow under the turf
14:47 Paper texture makes it look papery
16:13 Some choppy wave action shadows
17:33 Grassy stippling!
19:36 Feeling crazy, adding some water sparkle
21:00 Real bathymetry? Why not?

Enjoy making some engaging and interesting maps that look like they were ripped out of a children’s atlas!

Love, 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: esriurl.com/nelsonstyles

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