Migrate Defense Mapping cartographic processes from ArcMap to ArcGIS Pro

The cartographic process for Defense Mapping users in ArcGIS Pro has not changed that significantly. What has changed are tools and the product support files that are needed for the cartographic process.

Defense Mapping supports specifications like MGCP Topographic Maps (MTM) and Topographic Maps (TM). The elements, symbology, and tools that are needed to produce these maps have been migrated to ArcGIS Pro.

Product files

ArcGIS Defense Mapping users must download product files for the ArcGIS Pro version you are using. ArcGIS Production Mapping and ArcGIS Defense Mapping provide separate installers for the product files, including support files for doing end-to-end production with ArcGIS Production Mapping and ArcGIS Defense Mapping. For more information, see

Files for the following are included:

Cartographic preparation

Use the following for cartographic preparation.


Map templates

Predefined map documents in ArcMap have been migrated to ArcGIS Pro layout files.

MTM50_TRD_4_X.mxd -> MTM50_layout.pagx

MTM100_TRD_4_X.mxd -> MTM100_layout.pagx

TM25_TDS_7.mxd -> TM25_layout.pagx

TM50_TDS_7.mxd -> TM50_layout.pagx

TM100_TDS_7.mxd -> TM100_layout.pagx


These layout files contain surround information, map frames, layers, symbology, labeling, and elements needed to create MGCP and TDS standard specification maps.


Symbolizing maps in ArcGIS Pro has significantly changed by using only standard symbology symbols. Representations are not used in the cartographic process for ArcGIS Pro. ArcGIS Pro only reads representation symbology and does not allow you to edit representations or overrides.

ArcGIS Defense Mapping symbology for MTM and TM map products has been converted to this new standard symbology. The maps in the layout files have also been converted to using this standard symbology along with using Arcade expressions to assign symbols based on attribution. This replaces the ArcMap Visual Specification Table that would apply symbols to feature layers using SQL statements.

Table that would apply symbols to feature layers using SQL statements
Table that would apply symbols to feature layers using SQL statements

If you have customized map documents and symbology outside the out-of-the-box templates in Defense Mapping, contact us for migrating custom map documents to ArcGIS Pro.


ArcGIS Defense Mapping has implemented the standard elements that are in the MTM and TM map specifications, which are available in the predefined layouts for the MTM and TM specifications that are in the Defense Mapping product files. You can also insert these elements from the Insert ribbon in ArcGIS Pro in the Map Surrounds section.

Insert ribbon in ArcGIS Pro

Elements available from the Insert ribbon include north arrows, meter reference guides, a slope guide, and an elevation guide bar.

North arrows are in the North Arrow drop-down list in the Topographic section.

Topographic North Arrow drop-down list

The other specification elements are in the Additional Surrounds drop-down list.

Additional Surrounds drop-down list

Cartographic geodatabase

ArcGIS Defense Mapping delivers predefined cartographic geodatabase in the product files. These cartographic geodatabases are configured to work with cartographic refinement tools and automation processes in workflow management. The geodatabases have additional attributes for automated cartographic editing and the geodatabase structure is fine-tuned for automation.

Additional attributes for automated cartographic editing

Cartographic data preparation tools

In ArcGIS Pro, you will see differences in the location of tools for ArcGIS Production Mapping and ArcGIS Defense Mapping. Both Production Mapping and Defense Mapping geoprocessing tools are now located in the Topographic Production toolbox. For more information, see An overview of the Topographic Production toolbox.

Topographic Production tools

Extract data

In ArcMap, the Extract and Clip Data tool was used to extracting data for Cartographic Product. ArcGIS Pro has a new tool called Extract Data by Feature for extracting data or creating checkout replica of the cartographic product area of interest. For more information, see Extract Data By Feature (Topographic Production).

Topographic Production tools Geodatabase toolset

Create contours

The Create Contours tool is now called Generate Topographic Contours tool and is available in the topographic production toolbox to create and smooth contours from an input raster. For more information, see Generate Topographic Contours (Topographic Production).

Topographic Production tools Features toolset

Create spot heights

Creating spot heights tools in ArcGIS Pro are the same as the tools in ArcMap, except that the name in ArcGIS Pro has changed to Generate Spot Heights. For more information, see Generate Spot Heights (Topographic Production).

Topographic Production tools Generate Spot Heights tool

Production tools

The production process of MTM and TM maps in ArcGIS Pro is similar to the process in ArcMap. Most of the same tools exist in ArcGIS Pro but are renamed and have some additional functionality. In the end, the same output spec driven maps are created.

Generate Product Layout

The rapid graphic tool has been replaced by the Generate Product Layout tool in ArcGIS Pro. The Generate Product Layout tool uses an input geodatabase and runs through tools to produce the map data needed for several map frames like Elevation Guide and Adjoining Sheet Guide. For more information, see Generate Product Layout (Topographic Production).

Topographic Production tools Layout toolset

Tools within Generate Product Layout include the following:

Generate Elevation Guide Features

This tool creates data for an elevation guide diagram surround element as required by various supported map product specifications. The tool leverages existing banding and thinning tools to generate output elevation band features, spot height features, and hydrology features. For more information, see Generate Elevation Guide Features (Topographic Production).

Generate Adjoining Sheets Features

This tool generates features necessary for display in a typical topographic map adjoining sheets diagram. Features generated include sheet polygons for labeling, sheet lines for symbolizing sheets from different series uniquely, coastal polygons for displaying open water with coastal polylines for displaying shoreline, and a calculated area of interest (AOI) for generating a feature grid for the diagram. For more information, see Generate Adjoining Sheets Features (Topographic Production).

Populate Map Sheet Info

This tool populates text in graphic elements on a map layout. Text is populated with feature attribute values from a selected area of interest (AOI) feature in the map. The tool searches each graphic element for tagged (<tag></tag>) text. It compares tagged text to values in the PopMapInfo table. Any matching values are replaced in the graphic

element with an attribute value from the selected AOI feature. For more information, see Populate Map Sheet Info (Topographic Production).

Make Grids and Graticules Layer

This tool creates a grouped layer of feature classes depicting grid, graticule, and border features using predefined cartographic specifications. Grid layers are ideal for advanced grid definitions that are scale and extent specific. For more information, see Make Grids And Graticules Layer (Topographic Production).

Cartographic refinement

We have built equivalent cartographic refinement tools in ArcGIS Pro Production Mapping. The following tools are used for cartographic refinement using the OCTS layout template provided in ArcGIS Production Mapping and ArcGIS Defense Mapping. For more information, see Populate Map Sheet Info (Topographic Production).

Topographic Production toolset Cartographic Refinement toolset

Apply Building offsets

This tool aligns, moves, and hides building or bridge marker symbols based on product specification rules defined in an .xml file.

Calculate Bridge offsets

This tool calculates the offsets necessary to properly display bridges at a given location.

Thin Spot Heights

This tool generalizes spot heights for a given area of interest in accordance with product specifications. For more information, see Thin Spot Heights (Topographic Production).

Make Masks from Rules

This tool creates polygon masks for features based on color rules. For more information, see Make Masks From Rules (Topographic Production).

Apply Masks from Rules

This tool applies symbol layer masking to feature layers in a map based on an XML rule file and mask features created by the Make Mask from Rules tool. For more information, see Apply Masks From Rules (Topographic Production).

Map publishing

Map publishing has changed from ArcMap. ArcGIS Pro now supports SPOT colors. All MTM and TM map templates have been updated to use SPOT color export as defined in the specification. The maps and layout files in the ArcGIS Defense Mapping product files have had the colors defined as SPOT.

Export map

ArcGIS Pro does not use Production PDF. The layout and maps for MTM and TM have the SPOT colors defines on them. Use the ArcGIS Pro export tool with the PDF option, and the export files will contain the SPOT color exports incorporated into the PDF document. No tool is needed like the Production PDF in ArcMap to export SPOT color MTM and TM maps from ArcGIS Pro. For more information, see Export to PDF.

ArcGIS Pro export tool with PDF option

Custom colors

If you have maps that have colors outside of the MTM or TM color specification, ArcGIS Defense Mapping has a tool that can help in mapping these colors.

The Replace Colors tool will allow users to replace colors in a map, layout, or style in the catalog view. Use this tool to update color mapping, including specification-driven color changes, in which updates apply to all colors in a product. For more information, see Replace colors.

Replace colors tool

For migrating generalization processes from ArcMap to ArcGIS Pro, refer to the Migrating Production Mapping generalization processes from ArcMap to ArcGIS Pro Community blog post.

About the author

Mrinmayee "Minu" Bharadwaj has been with Esri since 2015. She is a Product Engineer: Documentation for Microsoft Integration apps. She was previously a Writer in Professional Services for ArcGIS Maritime and ArcGIS Aviation. She holds degrees in Psychology, English and Geography. She's passionate about technology and languages, and is fluent in French and German. She loves exploring new places, hiking, movies, books and a solid cup of tea.

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