Cartographic Capabilities in ArcMap

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The release of ArcGIS 9.2 brought increased cartographic capabilities to ArcMap especially in the area of rendering. As with last year’s conference, this was evident by the range of technical workshops offered at the recent ESRI International User Conference held this past June. On hand at the conference were ESRI staff to demonstrate the new capabilities and extensions to help GIS users extend the cartographic representation of their data without having to actually edit the underlying GIS layers to achieve those results. This advancement is a welcome departure from having to maintain two separate GIS layers: one containing the spatially accurate GIS data and a second one that had been prepped to be more visually appealing for cartographic output. Listed below are resources to taking advantage of the vast range of cartographic capabilities found in ArcMap.


  • ESRI Mapping Center
    The Mapping Center is a great resource for cartographic techniques for ArcMap. Visit the site for tips, tools and even submit your questions to their “Ask a Cartographer“, which, even if you don’t have a question, is an excellent page to visit to check out their “Featured Cartographer”.

  • An Overview of Representations
    From the online ArcGIS 9.2 Desktop help, this page provides an overview of representations and how to work with representations and associate tools.

  • Introduction to Cartographic Representations in ArcGIS 9.2
    View this 60-minute recorded seminar from ESRI which covers “cartographic representations and discusses how they are stored in the geodatabase, how they are used in ArcMap and ArcCatalog to create professional-quality maps, and how they are managed using new geoprocessing tools.” Requires Windows Media Player.

  • Classic Cartographic Techniques in ArcMap
    PDF file created by the Yale Map Collection GIS Workshop Series. This PDF steps you through such cartographic techniques as creating custom representations of topography, creating coastal vignettes, and decorative cartouches.

  • Cartographic Design Using ArcGIS 9
    Authored by Cynthia A. Brewer, this ESRI virtual training teaches fundamental map design using ArcGIS desktop. The first module is free with the remainder of the course costing $150.

  • Nuts and Bolts of Cartography in ArcGIS
    Presented by the Harvard School of Design, this online tutorial steps you through the basics to cartographic design in ArcMap.

Specific Cartographic Techniques

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