Jump to content


Creating Coastal Vignettes using Cartographic Representations in ArcMap

- - - - -

  • Please log in to reply
4 replies to this topic




  • Validated Member
  • Pip
  • 5 posts
  • United States

I've tried searching this forum and have had no luck finding an answer to this question.

I'm trying to create a gradient buffer outlining the coastline of a continent, fading from dark blue (at the edge of the coast) to light blue.

I have found articles describing how to do this using Euclidean Distance function, but I'm curious to see if anyone knows how to do this using cartographic representations.

I have a polygon feature class called "NorthAmerica". In the TOC, I convert to Representation. I believe I want to use a gradient-fill buffer, 7%, input my two colors... But this creates a buffer going from the edge of the coast inland towards the center of the polygon. I want the buffer to go outward. Seems like a simple setting I'm missing. Any ideas?



    Ultimate Contributor

  • Validated Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 778 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Canada
  • Canada

Sounds like a question for "Ask a Cartographer" on the ESRI mapping site.

David T

David T

    GIS Manager, USMC, MCIWEST-MCB Camp Pendleton

  • Validated Member
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 192 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:San Diego, California
  • United States

A very quick search on the ESRI Support Site, for 'coastal vignette' turns up two articles, both which point to the following white paper:

Vector and Raster Methods for Creating Coastal Vignettes

That paper was written by Aileen Buckley and David Barnes. I saw them present this a few years ago at the ESRI Conference, and I've been employing the vector method ever since. It's a fast and easy way to make some really nice looking effects on your maps. It works really well.
David Toney, GISP
GIS Manager
United States Marine Corps
West Coast Installations



    Hall of Fame

  • Validated Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,130 posts
  • Gender:Not Telling
  • Location:Oregon
  • United States

I haven't used representations much so I don't know if there is a way to tell it to put the fill on the outside of a polygon.
If you want to use representations to do this a couple of possibilities come to mind:
1. maybe you could make a polygon for the water area and put the gradient fill inside that?
2. is there something you could with a line?

I use the method DavidT refers to. :D

Dave Barnes
Map Geek

Agnar Renolen

Agnar Renolen

    Key Contributor

  • Validated Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 66 posts
  • No Country Selected

You can easilly do this i Photoshop using the "Inner glow" effect.

If you are using ArcGIS, you can export the polygons to a tiff-file (remember to write a world file).
Then open the tiff-file in photoshop to add the effect (mind that when you savethe file in photoshop any geotiff tags will be lost). Then, the rest depends a little on what kind of tools you use, and how your data is organized...

0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users