Great Maps Need Great Data: Creating and using authoritative geographic data

Discover a world of content in the Living Atlas in Chapter 4 of The ArcGIS Book

It is no secret that one of the most challenging aspects of starting a GIS project is finding authoritative data. After all, the old adage of “garbage in, garbage out” still holds true!

Luckily, the ArcGIS platform provides rich content, and in chapter 4 of The ArcGIS Book you will become familiar with ready-made basemaps, imagery, demographics and lifestyles, boundaries and places, transportation, and much more content to get you started with your projects. You will also learn the unique aspects of each of the available basemaps and deepen your knowledge of the different demographic variables available to you, from consumer spending and market potential to crime indexes and traffic counts.

ArcGIS includes a Living Atlas of the World with beautiful and authoritative maps on thousands of topics. Explore maps and data from Esri and other organizations and combine them with your own data to create new maps and applications.

“Understanding precedes action, and a map is a pattern made understandable,” says Richard Saul Wurman, the featured thought leader in this chapter. Richard is the co-founder of the TED (Technology, Entertainment, and Design) conference among many others and has also written and designed over 80 books. His extensive interest in maps, cartography, and design led to his collaboration with Esri to create the Urban Observatory. This interactive exhibit aims to make the world’s data understandable and useful by enabling users to simultaneously compare and contrast maps of cities around the world, all from one location.

The chapter 4 Quickstart encourages you to browse the Living Atlas of the World and explore the wealth of beautiful, authoritative maps and layers on diverse topics. You are also invited to share your own content with the ArcGIS community, if deemed appropriate.

The ArcGIS data community: A global network for creating and sharing authoritative geographic information resources.

In the Learn ArcGIS lesson in this chapter, you will work with free data to make an engaging and informative app for hiking trails in the beautiful Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, just west of Las Vegas, Nevada. This lesson will help you build skills in the following areas:

Start exploring the Living Atlas today.

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