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Creating Coastal Vignettes using Cartographic Representations in ArcMap

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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?



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

David T

David T

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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
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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
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Agnar Renolen

Agnar Renolen

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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...

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