Jump to content

 
Photo

The new world topo map

- - - - -

  • Please log in to reply
3 replies to this topic

#1
Gretchen Peterson

Gretchen Peterson

    Master Contributor

  • Validated Member
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 238 posts
  • United States

How does everyone feel about Esri's new World Topo Map? I think it is fairly gorgeous, super easy to put into an ArcMap project, and very detailed in the areas I usually work. The downside is that it can't be changed in any way.

I just offered it as an alternative to a client who wants me to put together a basemap for her to draw her community design alternatives on top of. Originally I did the usual: put together some custom base maps after getting data from the city government like roads, parcels, and building footprints, found some good hillshade data, etc., and rendered it the way I wanted it. That took a few hours. But then I offered up the Esri basemap which took approximately 10 seconds to load and export for her perusal. We'll see which basemap she chooses. There is one small problem: a few of the colors are too bright for her needs, and they can't be changed unless I do some tinkering with drawing some transparent layers.

Do you think this will impact our work? And how so?

#2
Bryan Swindell

Bryan Swindell

    Contributor

  • Validated Member
  • PipPip
  • 42 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Montana
  • United States

I had high hopes for this base map service, since it's 'free' and many of my clients are just looking for a quick (ie, cheap) base upon which to do more important work. However, at least in the rural West where I work, there are just too many inaccuracies in the roads, as well as the labels. I also do not care for the contrasty, bland hillshading (which ESRI admits to having created on purpose to allow for colorful mashups). I can export chunks of it, modify in PS or Illy, and on and on, but I usually find it's not worth it.

There's obviously no substitute for a layer-by-layer, custom approach to base map development, but these free services do have their (limited) place in the carto world.

#3
David Medeiros

David Medeiros

    Hall of Fame

  • Validated Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,089 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Redwood City CA
  • Interests:Cartography, wood working, wooden boats, fishing, camping, overland travel, exploring.
  • United States

I agree with Brian on the aesthetics of the base map, it's close but not quite there. Hill shades are a little funny looking at smaller scales. Road network can't be relied upon 100%. Labels may not mesh with your design.

However I think these and the other free base maps ESRI is putting out with Arc are filling a much needed space in GIS mapping and will probably see more than "limited" use. I suspect we'll start seeing them quite often actually which to me makes the custom base map even more desirable since it will be needed to differentiate products that want to stand out.

Gretchen, let us know what you client chooses and why.

GIS Reference and Instruction Specialist, Stanford Geospatial Center.

 

www.mapbliss.com

 


#4
Gretchen Peterson

Gretchen Peterson

    Master Contributor

  • Validated Member
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 238 posts
  • United States

David - I just got word this morning that my client wants to go the custom route. Though the World Topo Map is faster and cheaper it just doesn't meet her exact needs.




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users

-->