How to make a map: A short course in cartography from Learn ArcGIS

I’ve been working on a project that is at last ready to share. How to make a map is s a self-guided course in cartography. It’s a curated set of resourcesincluding lessons, videos, and articlesthat can help you improve your maps and communicate more effectively with spatial data.

The video below is a 2-minute overview of the course.

You can complete the course with ArcGIS Pro, ArcGIS Online, or both. I hope you use both. In fact, the Essential lessons in the course (for example this one) are a great way to learn how to apply the same skills in the two different softwares.

Who is this course for?

How to make a map is for anyone who wants to learn how to make better maps with ArcGIS. If you are a student working on a map assignment, a GIS specialist who wants to expand their skills, or an educator looking for up-to-date lab materials, this course is for you.

Why make this course?

All of the materials inside this site are also available elsewhere. But with so many great resources related to map-making, we felt a need to provide a more curated experience. This course is an answer to the question: I make maps, but I want to learn how to make them better. Can you recommend some cartography tutorials?

What will I learn?

You won’t learn everything about cartography here, but you will learn some useful skills and concepts. The course provides a mixture of hands-on activities with conceptual explanations in six chapters. Each chapter has a challenge activity to help you apply what you learned to your own mapping projects. There’s also a map gallery where you can share any maps that you make while working on this course.

Can I start right now?

Yes. Visit or explore the embedded site below.

The site is not yet complete.  More resources will be added over the next few months. In the meantime, I hope you try it out, share it with your friends, and also let us know what you think. Is How to make a map useful to you? How can we make it better? You can submit your feedback with this form.

By the way, I created this site using ArcGIS Experience Builder. If you want to learn how to make your own custom web apps, try this lesson.

About the author

Heather is a cartographer and artist who mixes both practices to express and understand landscapes. She writes and edits lessons for the Learn ArcGIS website. View more of her work at


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