Generalize the coastline of the country/landmass
Use the Simplify Polygon tool to generalize the coastline. Use a coarse simplification to generate a reasonable set of segments from which to generate views.
Joy from this map comes in stages. For immediate appeal, click the “Reveal” button and watch as lines slowly radiate away from the UK coast and move across the globe. The animation emphasizes view lines. Each point on one coastline leads to a point on an opposite coastline that you could see - if not for long distances and the Earth’s curvature. Upon closer inspection, you can interact with each view line. We love how this map entices you to venture along with view lines, see where they go and how far they travel.
The simplicity of this map makes it effective. A dark imagery basemap provides an ideal backdrop for striking bright green view lines. The thin view lines are partially transparent. En masse, the density of lines nearest the UK coastline appear as a bright glow. As longer view lines travel farther, they appear more subdued. Curving lines show the power of map projections. Although the information about this map is very much global in nature, it would have less appeal in 3D. Instead, swooping curves on a familiar Mercator projection work to reveal surprises.
As a cartographer at Esri, I design and develop interactive maps and stories for the British media. These pieces have been featured on websites including The Guardian, The Times, BBC News, Mashable and Huffington Post.
If you liked this map, check out these other Maps We Love that explore similar topics.