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#1
DaveB

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In light of recent discussions I thought I would put my mapping where my mouth is and post this map that I made entirely with ArcMap. The real purpose of creating the map was to test ArcMap and to have a map for demonstrations and presentations at ESRI's User Conference a couple of years ago. The premise was to create a map that could be one page from an atlas of US states.

I don't think it's a bad little map. :)

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Dave Barnes
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#2
frax

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not bad, great work. I am not sure I would have spotted that as an ArcMap map (they are much harder to spot than the standard ArcView 3.x maps that have been around, I always spot them on the legend).

How did you do the glow on the coast -- buffers? I guess one could do drop shadows the same way.
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#3
Hans van der Maarel

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Nice one. I'm having a hard time following the southern border (there were it runs along the river), so I personally would have opted to make that more obvious. Perhaps a different color-scheme for the other states.
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#4
Nick Springer

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Nice work.

I probably would have placed many of the labels differently by hand. Also around Seattle there seem to be a bunch of unlabeled PPL symbols. Of course when doing a map by hand you would leave off the symbols for the places for which the labels don't fit (could be an interesting feature for Arc).

I don't think this is an Arc limitation (maybe just the classification scheme), but Seattle and Spokane are the only 2 city labels that seem to be different. There are many other medium sized places in Washington.

The color of the mouth of the Columbia ends abruptly where it meets the ocean, something I would ameliorate by hand.

Dave - my criticism are meant to give some ideas as to where I see the differences between Illy-drawn and Arc-drawn. Overall very impressive. Now, if I could only afford Arc :)

Nick Springer

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#5
Matthew Hampton

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That is a very nice map indeed - although the coastline glow looks suspiciously non-Arc. I would guess he used a georeferenced image for the base raster that had been touched-up in a editor like Photoshop.

Other comments: I would have adjusted the opacity on the glaciers so they didn't occlude the shading of the highest peaks in the area (probably giving them a bluish tint and using "multiply" in Photoshop). Also, the second largest city on the map is missing its label (Portland).

For database mapping - overall it's is pleasing to look at.

co-cartographic creator of boringmaps.com


#6
DaveB

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Frax had it right. The "glow on the coast" is made from buffers (32 rings spaced 1 kilometer apart). A similar effect can be achieved by creating a Euclidean distance raster.

Hans, good point. I could subdue the other states by covering them with a transparent layer.

Nick, good points, too. In this case the labels are being placed dynamically. I would probably convert those to annotation and manually adjust the placement to further refine it. It would be nice to be able to automatically drop features that don't get labeled. That might be a future enhancement. There probably is room for further refinement of the city classification, but the classification I used was based on cities for the entire U.S. The mouth of the Columbia is just a result of having different data for the rivers versus the ocean. It wouldn't be difficult to do something like you suggest within ArcMap.

cartomat, good point about the glaciers. I did experiment with making them transparent, but then they were less visible. The missing label for Portland is an error on my part. I swear on Mercator's grave there was no use of any software other than ArcMap to create the coastline glow. :)
Dave Barnes
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#7
araki5

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very nice indeed. i have been using Arcmap since 8.3 and consider myself pretty savyy user, but this is outstanding!
I been trying to do the coastline effect for a few months now, but I can never get the "gradations" to completely smooth out. I was wondering if you might have a tip or two. I noticed you said you had 32 rings 1 km apart. any other tips? did you use a transparency on the buffer layer? also, how do you buffer only on the coast side?

again, very nice

Frax had it right. The "glow on the coast" is made from buffers (32 rings spaced 1 kilometer apart). A similar effect can be achieved by creating a Euclidean distance raster.

Hans, good point. I could subdue the other states by covering them with a transparent layer.

Nick, good points, too. In this case the labels are being placed dynamically. I would probably convert those to annotation and manually adjust the placement to further refine it. It would be nice to be able to automatically drop features that don't get labeled. That might be a future enhancement. There probably is room for further refinement of the city classification, but the classification I used was based on cities for the entire U.S. The mouth of the Columbia is just a result of having different data for the rivers versus the ocean. It wouldn't be difficult to do something like you suggest within ArcMap.

cartomat, good point about the glaciers. I did experiment with making them transparent, but then they were less visible. The missing label for Portland is an error on my part. I swear on Mercator's grave there was no use of any software other than ArcMap to create the coastline glow.  :)

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


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#8
Nick Springer

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Dave,

Can you give us a sense of how many hours it took you to achieve this result in ArcMap?

Nick Springer

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#9
David T

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Dave,

Was this posted at this user's UC? I remember seeing something similar, and being pretty impressed by it. The map looks good.

I can vouch for the coastal vignette, as I use it on my maps, too. It's a great effect. ESRI showed how to do it both this year and last, at the UC. I took a ton of notes. I believe they also have a white paper on the topic on the web site.

(One of these days, I'll get around to posting an example in the gallery)
David Toney, GISP
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#10
DaveB

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very nice indeed. i have been using Arcmap since 8.3 and consider myself pretty savyy user, but this is outstanding!
I been trying to do the coastline effect for a few months now, but I can never get the "gradations" to completely smooth out. I was wondering if you might have a tip or two. I noticed you said you had 32 rings 1 km apart. any other tips? did you use a transparency on the buffer layer? also, how do you buffer only on the coast side?


The end result can vary depending on your output device. For example, some of the printers we have for testing do some odd things with different shades of blue and make some of the buffer rings stand out. The only thing I can suggest for vector buffer rings is to decrease the spacing and increase the number of rings. Also, the difference between the outermost and innermost values is not very great.
The way I symbolize them is to set the colors for the innermost ring and the outermost, select those colors in the Layer Symbology dialog and right-click and choose Ramp Colors.
The other option I mentioned is, if you have Spatial Analyst, run the Euclidean distance function, which will produce a smoother gradient.
No transparency. To only buffer the coast side I buffered the land polygon with outer rings only.
You might find some of the documents at http://support.esri....dGateway&dmid=3 useful, especially the Creating Advanced Effects for Cartography in ArcMap and Cartographic Presentations UC05 files from User Conference presentations.

In reply to Nick's question about how long it took to create the map: it's hard to say since I did it in bits and pieces in between doing other things. First I had created an E-size map of the Western United States where I had set the colors and labels and such. Then I reduced that down to a smaller page size, changed the extent to just show Washington, created the layout/map surrounds.
In all, for both the U.S. map and the Washington map, I worked on it for a couple of months, but only an hour or 2 here and there. The most time was spent on downloading and processing 1:250,000 DEMs for all of the western states. Time to create the Washington map, very rough estimate - certainly less than a week. Then it took less than half an hour to make a map of Oregon to match the Washington map.
Dave Barnes
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#11
DaveB

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Dave,

Was this posted at this user's UC?  I remember seeing something similar, and being pretty impressed by it.  The map looks good.

I can vouch for the coastal vignette, as I use it on my maps, too.  It's a great effect.  ESRI showed how to do it both this year and last, at the UC.  I took a ton of notes.  I believe they also have a white paper on the topic on the web site.

(One of these days, I'll get around to posting an example in the gallery)

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


Yep, that's right. I was one of the presenters (well, running the demo machine - but I did write some of the material :D ).
Dave Barnes
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#12
Derek Tonn

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In light of recent discussions I thought I would put my mapping where my mouth is and post this map that I made entirely with ArcMap. The real purpose of creating the map was to test ArcMap and to have a map for demonstrations and presentations at ESRI's User Conference a couple of years ago. The premise was to create a map that could be one page from an atlas of US states.

I don't think it's a bad little map.  :)


Dave,

Excellent work, first and foremost! As to your "In light of recent discussions" comments, I think the folks who are talking about Illustrator/Corel Draw/Freehand versus a program like ArcMap are sometimes talking about apples and oranges when it comes to mapping work. I think that we are frequently dealing with very different subject matter (terrain versus a college campus or downtown urban core, for example), and different needs for output will almost necessarily create the need or desire for different software applications.

Personally, I think it is a good thing that there are "different strokes for different folks", as I think the WORST thing for our industry would be a standardization or homogeneous collection of software that we HAVE to use in our design work. Variety and competition breeds innovation, at least in my mind, and innovation is a VERY good thing!

Keep up the EXCELLENT work!

Derek
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#13
DaveB

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I think the folks who are talking about Illustrator/Corel Draw/Freehand versus a program like ArcMap are sometimes talking about apples and oranges when it comes to mapping work.  I think that we are frequently dealing with very different subject matter (terrain versus a college campus or downtown urban core, for example), and different needs for output will almost necessarily create the need or desire for different software applications.

Personally, I think it is a good thing that there are "different strokes for different folks", as I think the WORST thing for our industry would be a standardization or homogeneous collection of software that we HAVE to use in our design work.  Variety and competition breeds innovation, at least in my mind, and innovation is a VERY good thing!


I agree with both of your points, especially the second one - variety is the spice of life, vive la difference, or as Mr. Spock used to say "Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combinations". :D
And thanks for the comments. :)
Dave Barnes
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#14
woneil

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Dave,

I've been looking at your map and reading about your processes, finding a great deal to like in the former and much to think about in the latter. I am not going to use ESRI products for my own work (of creating maps to illustrate my own book and reports relating to diplomatic and military history), but of course many of the issues apply to other approaches.

As regards the map, I have a few musings (most of which have not much to do with the reasons you posted it):

-- I puzzle over what the map is about. Its most prominent data, visually, are the brightly-colored highways (especially as our visual systems are so attuned to linear features) and the high-contrast city labels. Yet the highways are not labeled. I know that I'm picking nits here, since you did not really intend the map for anything but display/demonstration purposes, and don't mean this as criticism. It's just that I always look for a theme or story in anything and don't see here.

-- To my eye, the discontinuity at the Canadian-U.S. border is a jarring note. Assuming that this were to be taken as a highway map then of course it would be more meaningful and useful if it extended into Canada, which would be the destination and/or origin of many of the trips. I agree, by the way, that tone-down would be a good way to differentiate Washington State from its adjoining polities.

-- The offshore littoral glow is visually attractive, but to me it makes cartographic nonsense in a map such as this. (It is better used in a more abstract map.) Much effort is being made to treat the landforms somewhat naturalistically, but then we make a cartoon of the littorals. And in doing so we make the river mouths unintelligible, so that the viewer has to think about how to interpret them in the light of a priori knowledge -- always something to be avoided, it seems to me, wherever possible. Why would it not be better and more visually interesting to treat these areas by depicting their bathymetry? (As it happens, this area has a lot of pretty interesting bathy.) (My views on this are probably pretty eccentric, reflecting a lot of professional involvement in physical oceanography over the years.) After all, if the cartographer is going to got to a lot of trouble to render naturalistic landforms, why not a little more (not very much more at all) to get matching seaforms? If we are to have an offshore glow in the ocean, in Puget Sound, in Gray's Harbor, and in Willapa Bay (none labeled) why not in the great bay formed at the mouth of the Columbia, extending all the way up to Longview? For that matter, why not in the large and very deep Lake Pend Oreille, or Moses Lake? Again, my eye sees a discontinuity which I have to think about. And the littoral glow is disconcertingly like the glacier symbology, so that I have stop and think to recognize that Mt. Hood (unlabeled) is really a mountain and not a lake.

-- The map does an appealing and generally effective job of conveying three dimensions. How about a fourth? The variety of landscapes in Washington State is very great. Would it not be useful and interesting to convey something of this? Suppose that the shading were dramatized more (e.g., through starker shadowing and increased vertical exaggeration) so that it could carry more of the burden of conveying relief? Then could we not make more flexile use of color to suggest landscape variations, reinforced by texture?

I find your description of how you did this quite interesting, although I know too little about ARC to fully get the picture.

You mention that you worked from 1:250,000 DEMs, which I presume are the USGS 1-Degree DEMs. Their nominal resolution is 3 arc-sec (about 90m) which seems like overkill for a map with an extent of more than 5 deg = 18,000 arc-sec -- unless the map is to be a great deal larger than I'm envisioning it. Would the 30 arc-sec GLOBE DEM have been adequate? If you click on the link it will take you to the image of the GLOBE set for Washington. It seems it would look a bit grainy at atlas-page size, but there are methods to smooth such things.

You also mention that a large portion of your time was spent on the DEMs. Some of this no doubt was due simply to the large number of relatively small data tiles involved. Did you have difficulties getting them to fit together? I have the impression that it's not a seamless data set. It would seem that the SRTM or NGDC Coastal Relief Model would be more convenient than the USGS data, but I suppose they were not yet available when you began this.
Will O'Neil
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#15
DaveB

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-- I puzzle over what the map is about.

You're right. The map doesn't tell a single story. It needed to have different things for different parts of the demo. Anything that would take extra work, possibly distract from the demos, or not add anything useful for the demos took a back seat.

-- To my eye, the discontinuity at the Canadian-U.S. border is a jarring note.

I might've included more data for Canada if it was readily and freely available. One consideration in demos is legal permissions to use data. There's no problem with that when it comes to using data such as the USGS dems or other US data providied by ESRI. In the end it wasn't essential to the demo.

-- The offshore littoral glow is visually attractive, but to me it makes cartographic nonsense in a map such as this. (It is better used in a more abstract map.)

Again this goes back to two things: 1. by far the major factor, one of the purposes of the map was to demonstrate the use of buffers and/or Spatial Analyst to create the coastal vignettes; 2. minor consideration, I didn't have good detailed bathymetry ready to hand to match the level of detail of the land terrain.

-- The map does an appealing and generally effective job of conveying three dimensions. How about a fourth?

That would've been beyond the scope of what was needed for the demo. Also, the terrain was meant to be more of a background, not the main story of the map. Maybe I didn't succeed in doing that as well as I should or could have.

You mention that you worked from 1:250,000 DEMs, which I presume are the USGS 1-Degree DEMs.

I used the 1:250,000 DEMs mainly because those are the ones I am most familiar with. It was also my intention to use them for other projects. Later I found out about and got access to the NED data for the hiilshade which didn't cost me any processing time at all. In the end I only used the dems for the hypsometric tinting.

You also mention that a large portion of your time was spent on the DEMs. Some of this no doubt was due simply to the large number of relatively small data tiles involved. Did you have difficulties getting them to fit together?

No problem getting them to fit together. It just took time to download them, unzip them, and mosaic them together.

Next time I'll try to make use of this forum to get feedback on data that can be accessed and used free and clear and to get critiques on any maps.

I appreciate all of the comments everyone took the time to write. Lots of food for thought. Thanks! :D
Dave Barnes
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