ArcGIS Blog » Mapping ArcGIS Blog Mon, 24 Nov 2014 04:43:05 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Resolve recent problems with ArcGIS Pro authorizations Wed, 19 Nov 2014 20:44:04 +0000 Rhonda Glennon Continue reading ]]> If you are experiencing recent problems with signing in and authorizing ArcGIS Pro, it is likely that your organization was still using beta license entitlements. These beta licenses expired on November 17, 2014.

There are two reasons why you would be experiencing sign in issues:

  1. Because you had both beta and prerelease licenses and all were assigned, you now have more Named Users assigned than you have licenses. If this is the case, you may have maxed out your licenses prior to you trying to sign in to ArcGIS Pro.
  2. You had ArcGIS Pro beta licenses, but never received your prerelease licenses. This is the case with a limited number of ELA customers. If you believe you are in this category, please contact Customer Service or your local distributor.

If you are in category 1 above, your administrator needs to review the licenses for your organization and reassign to the appropriate Named Users. You should have as many ArcGIS Pro prerelease license entitlements as you have qualifying licenses for ArcGIS for Desktop. The administrator will want to do this prior to December 1, 2014, or all named users will be unable to sign in to ArcGIS Pro.

Upon the expiration of any license in your organization, the administrator must revoke the expired license so that your organization’s members are only assigned valid licenses.

  1. Go to your ArcGIS Online or Portal for ArcGIS website.
  2. Verify that you are signed in as an administrator of your organization and that your organization has been provisioned for ArcGIS Pro.
  3. Click My Organization at the top of the site and click Manage Licenses.
  4. Revoke or reassign licenses as needed.

Organizations participating in the ArcGIS Pro beta program had access to additional trial licenses to evaluate the beta software. However, with the prerelease of ArcGIS Pro in October, an organization’s license entitlements started reflecting only the product levels, extensions, and numbers of licenses in accordance to its ArcGIS for Desktop licenses on Maintenance. Keeping extra beta licenses assigned following the ArcGIS Pro prerelease could result in a discrepancy where there are more licenses assigned than the organization actually has available. On November 17, 2014, any remaining unassigned ArcGIS Pro beta licenses in your organization were removed automatically, and assigned beta licenses expired.

If you have any questions regarding your license entitlement count, please contact Esri. In the United States, contact Customer Service at or 888-377-4575. Outside the United States, contact your local Esri Distributor.

Note: This post was edited shortly after initial publication to cover the scenario where prerelease licenses were never delivered to certain organizations.

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Increase your transparency with ArcGIS Pro Wed, 19 Nov 2014 08:01:56 +0000 Kenneth Field Continue reading ]]> By Kenneth Field, Senior Cartographic Product Engineer

One of the main benefits of redesigning a software package from the ground up is you can reflect on some of the limitations of what went before and deal with them head on. Most people who have a long history with ArcMap have at one time or another wanted to apply a little transparency to their symbols and have been frustrated to find the options limited (I’m one of these people!). This is something of which we’ve been acutely aware as we began the process of designing and building ArcGIS Pro. The completely redesigned graphics engine in ArcGIS Pro supports a rich array of possibilities for improved control over your graphics which has major benefits for your mapping. Let’s take a quick look at how modifying transparency for your map layers and symbols can begin to extend your cartographic possibilities.

Let’s say we’re interested in creating a bivariate choropleth map, which is essentially the graphical combination of two choropleth maps. Simply position one layer on top of the other in the Table of Contents and then apply 50% transparency to the top layer using the transparency tool on the Appearance ribbon…hey presto, the colors blend and create a bivariate map.

Breaking it down, the following two maps show different attributes, each classified into three quantiles showing the high, medium and low distribution of each variable. The small 9 x 9 grid is added to act as a legend so you can see what’s going on when the colors are combined. On the cyan colored map the legend shows the increasingly saturated color going left to right and on the magenta colored map the increasingly saturated color goes from bottom to top.

By setting the layer transparency of the top layer to 50% using the slider on the Appearance ribbon you end up with a map where the layer colors are properly combined. Because of the new way in which transparency is controlled (which directly uses your graphics card to do the processing) the result appears on-the-fly and fast!

As an aside, when creating a bivariate choropleth it’s important to limit the number of classes for each of the input layers. Here, we used 3 classes per layer. If we’d have used 4 then we’d get a 4 x 4 bivariate grid with 16 separate colors and it starts to get a little tricky to differentiate them. As a way to quickly see the relationship between two variables a bivariate choropleth is useful. We can very quickly see which countries are in the highest class on both variables, the lowest on both variables or perhaps where anomalies occur where countries are high on one variable and low on another. It’s an interesting way to visualize the relationship between variables…and it’s possible to take this concept further to create a trivariate choropleth, again simply by changing the layer’s transparency settings.

Another way to use transparency to represent more than one variable on a thematic map is to create a value by alpha map. It uses the same principles as the bivariate choropleth by combining two layers. In this case, though, the bottom layer contains the choropleth and the top layer contains a layer that represents some characteristic such as uncertainty. For instance, in the following map of the 2012 Presidential election we can see how the share of votes goes from a rich blue for counties that are predominantly Democrat to a vibrant red for those that are predominantly Republican. The marginal counties are those that occupy the merged purple colorspace. It’s a diverging color scheme that varies away from 50% equal share of votes by using colors that make sense as you go further towards a strong majority.

But this isn’t the full picture because it’s not just the majority share (as a percentage) that is important…it’s also the population density and, consequently, the voter density. As we know, different counties have very different numbers of voters. A value by alpha map uses a layer that represents the population density of voters as a way to subdue areas that have relatively fewer voters and focus our attention on the areas that have relatively more voters, and therefore more of an impact in the final tally.

Using the Color Scheme Editor we can easily create a Continuous Color Scheme that goes from near black to fully transparent by simply defining two endpoints of the color scheme. We’ll then apply it to a copy of the counties data so that areas with relatively low voter population density are shaded in the darker colors and counties with relatively high levels of voter population density are increasingly transparent.

We end up with a layer that looks like this with the transparent areas showing white because that’s the background color of the map:

When placed above our election results layer in the Table of Contents we can see how the transparent layer works:

Now, the counties that have the higher relative voter population densities shine more than those that don’t and begin to show us how voter population density has an impact on the outcome. The original map has a lot of vibrant red but the Republicans didn’t win the election. The reason is clear when you see the value by alpha map…most of those strong Republican counties have relatively few people. In fact, most of the counties with strong Democrat support are also those with higher populations which are brought into focus using the value by alpha approach.

With a slight modification we can also create a value by alpha map that symbolizes the population density layer from white to transparent which has the effect of making the counties with low population densities much lighter. It’s a different aesthetic but the same idea as above.

You may notice a few other things about this version where we’ve experimented with transparency in other ways. We added county boundaries in red for those that are predominantly Republican and blue for those that are predominantly Democrat. We added 50% layer transparency to just bring them into the same visual gamut and so they don’t dominate the map. They add a subtle extra way to recognize the distribution of voting by county and it makes for a more interesting map that using some default neutral colour like dark grey. We also used data for the location of cities, again colored these to denote a predominant Republican or Democrat voting pattern and added these into the map, again with 50% transparency. This has the effect of picking out the main populated places which adds a touch of emphasis to the cities as distinct from the counties they are in. It’s a graphical highlight

You can read more on the Value by Alpha technique in a paper published in The Cartographic Journal by Robert Roth, Andy Woodruff and Zach Johnson.

The examples so far have shown how you can use transparency at a layer level but in ArcGIS Pro, you can also apply transparency at a symbol level which can produce some great cartographic effects. Let’s see how it works on a map of global air routes.  There’s currently about 60,000 regularly flown global air traffic routes between civilian airports. Putting 60,000 lines on a small scale map will only result in a mess of overlapping lines such as:

There’s not much that’s pleasant about this map (actually it’s just a visual data dump) but if we apply some transparency to the blue lines; well, actually quite a lot of transparency – 98% – then we get a totally different version:

All that we’ve modified is the transparency of the symbol’s color but it brings a whole new dimension as well as a pleasing aesthetic to the same data dump.  In one step we’ve turned the data dump into an abstract map but one that reveals some structure about the density of air traffic corridors. This sort of technique has been used plenty of times before in maps of social media connections and also for this flights dataset but it’s worth demonstrating because it’s so simple to create in ArcGIS Pro.

The map allows us to begin to pick out densities of flight paths, particularly over Europe. The shape of the continents also begins to be seen as do the locations of key transport hubs and major cities despite no coastline or cities data being used. It’s also an abstract work of art and using transparency in different ways gives us flexibility to bring a touch of elegance and visual eloquence to our cartography. Here’s the same approach used to symbolize the U.S. street network to identify ‘Where the Streets Have No Name’.

Here we’ve demonstrated just a few ways that you can begin to use transparency in your work to create both useful maps and interesting effects. The possibilities for combining layers and symbols that have different transparency are endless. For instance…what about using transparent halos behind text instead of a solid color? That way you don’t lose any of the detail of your map, the background still appears but the use of transparency in the halo means the typographic elements get a visual lift.

One word of cartographic warning…overdoing transparency can happen. We’ve focused on thematics here and there is a temptation to use layer transparency on a thematic operational layer atop a topographic basemap. What you end up with is a map that instead of having a few easily interpreted colours, instead has thousands of convoluted color blends. Look at the following election map atop the National Geographic basemap. The use of the basemap adds visual noise, over-complicates the interplay with the basemap and the overlay as well as causing cognitive overload. Quite simply, it’s harder for us to ‘see’ the colors relative to one another and therefore harder for us to understand what’s going on.

If you want a basemap under your thematic overlay, you’re better off with something neutral like the Light Gray basemap. That way, if you apply transparency to your overlay then each color is modified in relation to the background in the same way.

Remember, thematic maps and topographic maps are different for a reason. Making them work together is more complicated than simply using transparency. Even with the use of transparency on a layer atop the Light Gray canvas basemap we lose a lot of definition. Top tip: if you’re creating choropleth (Graduated Color) maps, the map is its own basemap. Consider leaving it as it is rather than trying to tie it into a basemap.

With ArcGIS Pro you can change transparency of a layer on the ribbon, as part of a layer’s color scheme in the Color Scheme Editor and also at an individual symbol element level using the Color Editor. Any color can be transparent in ArcGIS Pro and making use of the new transparency tools can bring a real professional finish to your maps.

The possibilities are endless and we’re excited that ArcGIS Pro brings this huge improvement to the way in which maps can be styled. Next in our series of blogs on the new and improved capabilities for cartography in ArcGIS Pro…typography.

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The User Community Has Provided Updates to the Living Atlas Through Community Maps Fri, 14 Nov 2014 15:30:53 +0000 Shane Matthews Continue reading ]]> The ArcGIS Content Team has updated the World Topographic Map! Another big thanks to the user community who are helping improve the Community Basemaps by submitting new and updated content to the ArcGIS Living Atlas of the World. Updates this week includes 3 new contributions and 1 update for locations in the United States.

Our newest contributors are City of Cupertino, CA (Topo 1:9k to 1:1k), City of Newton and Boston College, MA (Topo 1:9k to 1:1k), and the University of Richmond, VA (Topo 1:9k to 1:1k).

City of Cupertino, CA

City of Newton and Boston College, MA

University of Richmond, VA

Also included in this release is an update from the City of Lawrence, KS (Topo 1:9k to 1:1k). This update also includes data from Douglas County, KS.

City of Lawrence, KS

We would like to thank these contributors for improving the Living Atlas of the World and the Online Basemaps.

Attending Esri’s Southwest User Conference? The Conference will be held at the Santa Fe Community Convention Center, located at 201 West Marcy Street, Santa Fe, New Mexico 87501, December 2 – 4, 2014. Members of the Content Team will be hosting a Post-Conference Workshop.

This hands-on workshop will introduce the benefits of participating in Esri Community Maps: a cooperative effort by the ArcGIS user community to build a living atlas of the world using the best available data sources from authoritative sources like your GIS organization.

You will learn how the program is structured and best practices for preparing authoritative content to be published in Community Maps online basemaps. This includes a thorough overview to the new Community Maps Data Prep Tools, which make the process of preparing your data for submission simple and straightforward. This interactive session includes hands-on exercises and software demonstrations.

Workshop details:

Date: Thursday, December 4, 2014
Time: 2:00 pm – 4:30 pm
Location: Kearney Room, Santa Fe Community Convention Center
Course Fee: Free (*) Seating is limited and is on a first come first serve basis.

Showcase your organization! If you work for an organization that is benefiting from Community Maps Participation and would like to share your work with our expanding user community, please contact Shane Matthews ( or Community Maps ( and tell us your story and have a chance to be featured in a Community Maps Webinar segment.

Here’s a list of all the community contributors for this release:

  • City of Cupertino, CA (Topo 1:9k to 1:1k) New Contributor
  • City of Newton and Boston College, MA (Topo 1:9k to 1:1k) New Contribution
  • University of Richmond, VA (Topo 1:9k to 1:1k) New Contribution
  • City of Lawrence, KS (Topo 1:9k to 1:1k) Update

These contributions were made through the Community Maps Program. For more information visit the Community Maps Program Resource Center.

The service was updated on the following servers: and If you have previously used the World_Topo_Map, you may need to clear your cache in order to see the updates.

If you have feedback on content, try our Topographic Map Feedback web map.

If you have other feedback or comments, please post them to the ArcGIS Discussion Group on GeoNet.

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Esri Southwest User Conference Includes a Community Maps Post-Conference Workshop! Thu, 13 Nov 2014 20:49:01 +0000 Shane Matthews Continue reading ]]> Attending Esri’s Southwest User Conference? The Conference will be held at the Santa Fe Community Convention Center, located at 201 West Marcy Street, Santa Fe, New Mexico 87501, December 2 – 4, 2014. Members of the Content Team will be hosting a Post-Conference Workshop.

This hands-on workshop will introduce the benefits of participating in Esri Community Maps: a cooperative effort by the ArcGIS user community to build a living atlas of the world using the best available data sources from authoritative sources like your GIS organization.

You will learn how the program is structured and best practices for preparing authoritative content to be published in Community Maps online basemaps. This includes a thorough overview to the new Community Maps Data Prep Tools, which make the process of preparing your data for submission simple and straightforward. This interactive session includes hands-on exercises and software demonstrations.

Workshop details:

Date: Thursday, December 4, 2014

Time: 2:00 pm – 4:30 pm
Location: Kearney Room, Santa Fe Community Convention Center
Course Fee: Free (*) Seating is limited and is on a first come first serve basis.

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Brewing a new color palette for ArcGIS Pro Wed, 12 Nov 2014 18:56:52 +0000 Kenneth Field Continue reading ]]> By Kenneth “there’s a u in colour” Field, Senior Cartographic Product Engineer

ArcGIS Pro offers a rich new experience for making maps. Over the next few weeks we’ll be sharing many of the new and exciting features that will help you better design and share beautiful maps. Today we’ll look at how we’ve rebuilt the color palettes to provide better default options and an improved selection of color choices.

When we were designing the new ArcGIS Pro app we looked at all of the color ramps in ArcMap as well as many from a range of sources to inspire us to give our users a better experience. There’s a lot! In fact, here’s an inside snap of part of the selection process early on in the planning of our new color schemes – yes, we printed them out!

We wanted to build a fresh set of color schemes that better supported cartography and supported better cartography and we wanted to ensure we gave our users the very best possible choices that we know work well when designing great maps. Rather than try and reinvent the color wheel (pun intended!) or just regurgitate the colors in ArcMap we worked with our friend and colleague Cynthia Brewer to implement her ColorBrewer color schemes as part of ArcGIS Pro.

Developed as part of an academic project in 2002, Cindy and her co-worker Mark Harrower developed the ColorBrewer tool which has become the de facto choice for many cartographers when selecting colors. The schemes she researched and provided specifications for have been available for the last decade and are currently available via the ColorBrewer 2.0 web site which many people have used to set up their own color schemes in ArcMap. In fact, the research paper Mark and Cindy wrote in 2003 (published in The Cartographic Journal) went on to win a prestigious award for the best published paper in the journal that year and a downloadable style file of colors has been available for ArcMap for a number of years.

With such high quality research already done, it made sense to incorporate it into ArcGIS Pro rather than users having to go outside the software to find colors they wanted to work with. With Cindy’s agreement, we baked the ColorBrewer specifications into ArcGIS Pro to give map-makers access to these great color schemes as a default. Now, picking great color schemes has never been so easy. Of course, the ColorBrewer schemes which support colorblind safe palettes are also included.

Let’s take a look at some examples.

Any software has to have defaults. When you add data to a software package there has to be some default way of displaying it. In ArcMap, when you add a layer and then go to create a choropleth (Graduated Color) map for instance there’s a default behavior that classifies and symbolizes your data. The same is true for ArcGIS Pro. What most people will tell you is that this should not be the end point of making your map. It’s a starting point from which your knowledge of the data, its distribution and the type of message you want to communicate will all play a part in helping you decided how to modify the defaults.

That said, wouldn’t it be great if defaults were just that little bit better? Wouldn’t it be a step forward if there is some way the software can make more sensible choices in what it offers you as a first cut? Well with ArcGIS Pro we’ve worked hard to make the color defaults something that helps you out rather than something you immediately have to change.

Color can be an extremely emotive topic. What works for one set of eyes and taste might not for another. If you fill a room with cartographers it’s unlikely that any two will pick the same way to color their map. That said, color choice isn’t some random decision. It follows basic rules. If we’re making a map of continuous data on a choropleth for instance, we don’t use a qualitative shading scheme (the worst type of which is applying a rainbow colored palette). It doesn’t make sense since the map is intended to show where there is more or less. Instead, we use a sequential color scheme, either a single or multi-hue, such as the map below, where lighter hues relate to lower data values and darker relate to larger data values.

In ArcGIS Pro, as a default when you make a choropleth (Graduated Color) map, the color schemes you are offered in the drop down are filtered to show only sequential schemes that vary from light to dark. It becomes harder to make a cartographic error in selecting your colors, though of course we can’t help it if you like single hue purple color schemes but your boss doesn’t – only you can decide what hues are going to work for you and your data. The following illustration shows some of the sequential color schemes.

We’ve also made ArcGIS Pro a little smarter too. Perhaps your data varies around a critical break? Maybe you want to show areas that increase and decrease away from an average value? Perhaps you want to show how temperature varies (in degrees celsius) both positively and negatively away from zero. In ArcGIS Pro you can set a critical break somewhere in your data array which then populates your color scheme palette with a range of diverging color schemes appropriate for this type of map. You can set the Critical Break when working with Class Breaks.

Your color pallete now shows diverging color schemes which are more appropriate for this type of data. A diverging scheme shows all classes below the critical break as a sequential scheme using one hue, and all values above the break in a sequential scheme using a different hue as the following map illustrates:

There’s preset schemes set up to accommodate up to 11 classes in your classification scheme which also creates smooth visual jumps between colors. The following illustration shows part of one set of the new diverging color schemes.

If you’re making a map that shows some sort of qualitative difference you’ll need a color palette that supports that message. This is where different hues play an important part in differentiating one area from another. Here’s a selection of the new qualitative color schemes in ArcGIS Pro.

By following the ColorBrewer specification, we’ve ensured that the saturation and value of the colors is calibrated so that no one hue appears dominant. When you’re making a Unique Values map you don’t want all of the choice for sequential and diverging hues, so we present you just the options for our qualitative color schemes, all perfectly balanced with highly saturated schemes for the depiction of overlay detail on a web map or, perhaps, a set of pastels for a more subdued background map.

So the default behavior in ArcGIS Pro gives you just that little extra helping hand in selecting a color scheme that works for your data. Of course, you can see all the color schemes by checking the Show all option and you have the ability to modify any single color, develop your own color schemes and modify individual colors in a scheme.

The RGB and CYMK specifications of Cindy’s ColorBrewer palettes are included and the Color Editor supports RGB, HSV, HSL, Lab, Grayscale and CYMK color models to give you flexibility in the design process. Naturally, once you’ve created you perfect scheme you can save them out to a style which will give you rapid access to any custom styles you create for your own maps.

Defaults are part of the design of software. As we said at the start, they are the beginning of your map design process. What we have tried to support with ArcGIS Pro is a better set of defaults for color that gets you a little further down the path to making a great map than before.

In the next in the series of blog posts on the new map design capabilities in ArcGIS Pro we’ll take a look at transparency and how it’s now a core part of the way in which you can style symbols and layers.

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Strengthening the Link between GIS and Science with the SciPy Stack Thu, 06 Nov 2014 07:15:03 +0000 Dawn Wright Continue reading ]]> From an Esri Insider blog post by Matt Artz and Kevin Butler

The SciPy ecosystem.

Geography is the science of our world, and GIS is a foundational technology for helping us to better understand that science. To further strengthen the link between GIS and science, today at the Esri Ocean GIS Forum we’re pleased to announce the integration of ArcGIS with SciPy, a Python-based ecosystem of open-source software for mathematics, science, and engineering.

Esri GIS and Science Marketing Manager Matt Artz recently caught up with Dr. Kevin Butler, a Product Engineer with the Esri Geoprocessing and Analysis Team, to ask him a few questions about the integration between ArcGIS and SciPy.

See the full interview here.

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Community Contributions Added to World Imagery Wed, 05 Nov 2014 17:45:37 +0000 ArcGIS Content Team Continue reading ]]> Over the past two months, we have expanded the World Imagery basemap to include more and more community contributions. High-resolution imagery was published from both new contributors as well as updates from communities that are active participants in the program. The Community Maps Program represents a cooperative effort by the ArcGIS community to build authoritative maps and layers compiled from premier GIS data sources that are provided and maintained by the ArcGIS user community. One such contributor is Esri Switzerland who provided updated imagery from swisstopo. This example shows buildings of the University of Zurich at 0.50m resolution.

Zurich, Switzerland (swisstopo, 0.50m)
Zurich imagery

In the United States and Canada, there were eight communities updated in the last two months. This story map provides a tour of these contributions in the World Imagery basemap.
Imagery story map

The communities recently added or updated in the World Imagery basemap:

  • Bridgeport (Greater Bridgeport Regional Council), Connecticut, USA
  • Leduc, Alberta, Canada
  • Lower Mainland, British Columbia, Canada
  • Milwaukee County, Wisconsin, USA
  • St. Johns County, Florida, USA
  • Santa Rosa, California, USA
  • Sonoma County, California, USA
  • Switzerland
  • Vernon, British Columbia, Canada

Metadata for Imagery Map: This service is metadata-enabled. With the Identify tool in ArcMap or the World Imagery with Metadata web map, you can see the resolution, collection date, and source of the imagery at the location you click. The metadata applies only to the best available imagery at that location. You may need to zoom in to view the best available imagery.

As part of the support of the Community Maps Program, Esri offers monthly Webinars focusing on different topics related to the program. Our next webinar is scheduled for Thursday, November, 6, 2014 and will be focused on imagery and elevation. Read the related blog post for more information and to register for the webinar event.

Another great resource is the recent blog post on the Review of the Living Atlas and Community Maps. This showcases the extensive reach of the Community Maps Program on If you have questions about being part of this effort to build the World Imagery map or any of our other basemaps, please contact us.

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Esri LAS Optimizer Updated With Several Key Enhancements Tue, 04 Nov 2014 21:41:49 +0000 Lindsay Continue reading ]]> An update to Esri’s LAS Optimizer is now available. LAS Optimizer 1.2 enhancements include:

- Support for LAS 1.4, all point record formats.
- Output zLAS files are backward compatible when LAS 1.3 or earlier payload is used.
- Retain original time stamp upon decompression if LAS file not altered in any way.
- Command line switch to verify integrity of zLAS files.
- Option to stop process when encountering error with a file.
- Drag and drop files/folders into application dialog from Windows Explorer.
- Does not overwrite log file.

The new version can be found here:

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Esri’s Living Atlas of the World and Community Maps Year-End Review Fri, 31 Oct 2014 19:10:57 +0000 Shane Matthews Continue reading ]]> The ArcGIS Platform brings together maps, apps, data, and people to make smarter decisions and enable innovation in your organization and community. ArcGIS includes a Living Atlas of the World with beautiful and authoritative maps on hundreds of topics. The Living Atlas combines reference and thematic maps with many topics relating to peopleearth, and life.  This content is available from any device, anywhere, at any time.

2014 was a busy year for the ArcGIS Content Team. Esri’s content landscape has increased tremendously. This increase is largely due to content being created and curated into the diverse collections of the Living Atlas of the World and includes data that has been contributed to Esri’s Online Basemaps through Community Maps participation. This story will focus on the expanding content that supports the Living Atlas, including an introduction to our curators, and will detail basemap growth through 2014.

Content that supports the Living Atlas of the World is organized by themes. Content included in the atlas is published by Esri, the User Community and Esri’s Partners.

Each of these themes have a curator that ensures that all web maps, apps and data follow best practices, add value, and provide a foundation for your work. Let’s take a look at these diverse themes and meet our curators.



Demographics and Lifestyles


Landscape – Oceans

Earth Observations

Urban Systems

Urban Systems – 3D Cities


Boundaries and Places and Historic Maps are provided by the curated themes mentioned above.

Story Maps

Community Maps played a vital role this year by adding new and updated content to the World Topographic Map. New contributions in the United States included King County, WA; Crook County, OR; Los Angeles and Anaheim, CA; Sparks, NV; Mesa and Queen Creek, AZ; City of Aspen and Pitkin County, CO; Teton County, ID and WY; Oswego, IL; Plano and Montgomery, TX; Shelby County, TN; Tampa, FL; Goldsboro, NC; Milford, CT; and many others. New contributions from the international community include Denmark; Island of Bermuda; Berlin, Germany; Vienna, Austria; Alberta, British Columbia, and Sudbury, Ontario, Canada and many others.

Not only have these communities joined the Community Maps Program, the ArcGIS Content Team has also leveraged content from these contributors and have added select map layers to the World Streets Map, the Light Gray Canvas Map, and there are plans to add these layers to other basemaps soon. Not only have we introduced new and updated content, we are rendering contributor content up through 1:288K, previously this content was only visible through 1:9K.  In addition, Commercial data was updated for all of North America, and all content in North America was cached in the new cartographic design.

Ready-to-use basemaps and content are part of your ArcGIS Online Subscription. This  includes maps, intelligent map layers, imagery tools, live feeds layers, elevation services and web apps. What else to I get?

The image below illustrates the community contributors in the World Topographic Map.

134 million features have been submitted by community contributions!

The Community Maps Timeline highlights the programmatic and operational enhancements our team has implemented through 2014.

We would like to thank our user community and partners for their help in building our basemap collection and supporting the Living Atlas of the World.

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Imagery and Elevation will be the focus of the next Community Maps webinar Thu, 30 Oct 2014 17:29:42 +0000 Mark Stewart Continue reading ]]> Please join the Community Maps team on November 6th, 11:00 a.m. – noon Pacific time, for another free webinar filled with exciting news about the Esri Community Maps!  Here’s a quick look at this month’s agenda: 

  • Steve Sharp of the Vermont Center for Geographic Information (VCGI) and Pam Brangan of Chittenden County Regional Planning Commission, will describe how contributing imagery to Esri Community Maps benefits their imagery access and distribution strategy and helps imagery users throughout the state.
  • Rajinder Nagi, manager of Esri’s community elevation program, will describe the online elevation services provided through ArcGIS Online and explain  how authoritative organizations can contribute their high resolution elevation data to improve these resources.
  • Latest news from the Community Maps team and time for questions.

So don’t forget to tune in to stay current on what’s happening with Esri Community Maps. Join us on the 6th! Here’s how you can connect to the webinar:

  • Topic: Community Maps Webinar
  • Date and Time: Thursday, November 6th, 2014, at 11:00 a.m. (PST)
  • Event number: 807 218 496
  • Join webinar

Audio for the conference is available via your computer speakers or teleconference. The following is connection information for the teleconference option:

Click here to add this webinar to your calendar.

If you missed any of our previous webinars, remember that they are archived on our Community Maps Webinars video site.

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