First Impression – ArcGIS Online and Adobe Creative Cloud

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As of June 6th, the collaborative features between ArcGIS Maps and Adobe Creative Cloud are available for general use. Interested in developing more customized attributes for promotional mapping applications, I’ve found that these combined programs add on a lot of options that had previously been absent from base maps.

Content styling proves to be an intuitive process, those who have had graphic design or general Creative Cloud experience can easily manipulate the features of their map to create visually unique cartography. ArcGIS Online users can look up the URL of the desired map and link it to the ArcGIS Mapboard. Layers from AGOL can be linked to selected areas – essentially superimposing them on specific cropped sections on a base map – for custom-fitted cartographic designs.

From there, all the usual functionality is available for use. In Adobe Photoshop, users can utilize the Curves adjustment to create aesthetically concurrent map visuals. Options in Adobe Illustrator, such as drawing Bézier Curves, add a more hands on approach to creating map branding – logos and customized legends are both easily created. Illustrator also offers the separation of data lines and points into separate layers, an aspect that would allow for tailor made legends that could only previously be replicated through utilizing ArcGIS for Developers.

A base map customized in Adobe Photoshop
A base map customized in Adobe Photoshop.

Overall, I would recommend this Creative Cloud add-on to any organization looking for greater control over the visual aspects of their maps. It could also easily bridge the gap between employees involved in graphic design and those working with ArcGIS, or individuals interested in having both essential programs into their repertoire of skills.

For more information on this add-on, view ArcGIS’ provided instructional videos here.

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