ArcWatch: Your e-Magazine for GIS News, Views, and Insights

July 2007

Achieve Best Practice Results in Your Mapmaking

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The Mapping Center provides tips on how GIS users can reproduce those ideas for use in their own maps.
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These sample maps, available from Esri's new Mapping Center Web site, illustrate common techniques and effects used by professional cartographers.
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Designed to provide quick answers to mapmaking problems, the new Mapping Center Web site presents information and sample maps displaying a wide variety of cartographic techniques and effects. The site also gives visitors tips and instructions on how to reproduce the featured effects on their own maps.

"Our goal is to encourage ArcGIS users to employ the same concepts when using GIS software that professional cartographers do when making maps," says Dr. Aileen Buckley, a member of the Mapping Center team at Esri that created the site. "We want to help identify and support members of the growing community of GIS users making maps—and cartographers using GIS in their work—by providing a forum for them to share information, offer instructions, provide links to other resources, and ask questions related to mapping with GIS."

Getting Started with Mapping Center

To get started exploring Mapping Center's vast resources, try visiting the Blog to see some current topics of conversation. Be sure to check out the comments and ratings and feel free to add a comment yourself!

Then check out the Maps section of the Web site where you can find sample maps displaying a wide variety of cartographic techniques and effects along with tips and instructions on how to reproduce the featured effects on your own maps. Comments and ratings are included for the various cartographic effects, and you can add your own as well.

Next, feel free to tour the ArcGIS Resources section for downloads that can help you re-create featured cartographic effects for yourself.

The Ask a Cartographer tab offers you the chance to submit a question about a particular mapping challenge you might be facing. Esri's cartographic team will respond to submissions and post selected questions for site visitors to read and learn from.

There are many Other Resources to explore including links to publications, conference presentations, and Esri training courses as well as a special collection of Cartographers' Favorites that includes links to popular Web sites, forums, professional organizations, textbooks, and more.

The Mapping Center will help you with many types of mapping projects. Learn how to choose specific styles and fonts to create antique- or historical-looking maps, find suggestions for choosing color ramps and tinting schemes, read the Current News Feeds, view the Featured Maps, or submit a blog entry—it is entirely up to you. Start implementing the cartographic best practices you will find on the site to begin solving your daily mapping challenges today.

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