Data Management

North America basemaps updated on two fronts

Our recent update to North America in a number of our basemaps was achieved through two primary data source enhancements. First, we applied our commercial data updates from HERE. Second, we expanded the use of contributor data to enhance content in the Living Atlas of the World. Through our Community Maps Program this data is being added to other Esri basemaps besides the World Topographic Map. The resulting maps available on take advantage of this two-step approach. This North America update includes World Street Map, World Dark Gray and World Light Gray Canvas maps, and our World Boundaries and Places, World Boundaries and Places Alternate, and World Transportation reference overlays.

Some examples of what our other maps now look like when incorporating Community Maps data. The expanded use of this data into other basemaps offers more options for those communities to select a basemap style while still using their contributed data. Let’s start with the previous view of World Street Map in the City of Gahanna, Ohio.

Previous view of Gahanna, Ohio

The addition of Community Map data contributed by the City of Gahanna now provides a richer map experience across multiple features in the map. Water bodies, parks and other land use, building footprints, and named features that were previously only used in our World Topographic Map are now included in the other basemaps.

Updated view of Gahanna, Ohio

City of Gahanna, Ohio, with a combination of commercial road data with community contributed data enhancements

And how this expansion of data looks in the canvas map styles and Boundaries & Places shown over imagery.

Dark gray canvas view of Gahanna, Ohio

Light gray canvas view of Gahanna, Ohio

Boundaries & Places shown over imagery of Gahanna, Ohio

This inclusion of community data also extends to special areas of interest and campus maps that was previously only incorporated into our Topo map. Much of the contributor data is now incorporated into our other basemaps.

See these screenshots of the World Street Map with the added contributor data.

University of Idaho – “before”
Before view of University of Idaho

University of Idaho – “after”. The World Street Map incorporated community content to enhance the map.
Updated view of University of Idaho

Note that not all features contributed through the Community Maps Program appear in all basemaps. Two examples are community road and tree data. Both of these features only appear in our World Topographic Map. The other basemaps continue to use our commercial data for roads. Trees are not part of the other basemap designs, so they will continue to only display in the Topographic map when contributed.

The World Topographic Map update of North America with commercial data is scheduled for release in early June. Recent community updates to the World Topographic Map are described in detail in this blog post.

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If you have previously used these maps, you may need to clear your cache in order to see the updates.

If you have comments on content, try our feedback web maps available for Street Map, Topographic Map, and World Imagery.

If you have other feedback or comments, please post them to the ArcGIS Online Discussion Group and the Living Atlas Discussion Group on GeoNet.

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