Skip navigation
All Places > ArcGIS Living Atlas of the World > Blog > Authors robert_green-esristaff

This blog was originally published by Wes Jones on May 24, 2019, on the ArcGIS blog page.  


 

REDESIGNING

As map makers we make maps. However, that doesn’t mean that each map is made from scratch. It is just as often the case that a map is updated, tweaked, or redesigned. I want to share some of my journey redesigning the Navigation Basemap.

 

WHY REDESIGN?

There were several reasons why a redesign was in order. Other than needing a freshening up (as all maps need periodically), there were areas identified as needing adjustment to better serve some common use cases. Some of the main concerns were road widths being too thin, the label hierarchy, and some colour selections.

 

OTHER CRITERIA

This map is a heavily used map with many different users, so the changes couldn’t be so drastic as to radically change the look.

 

FIVE MAJOR COMPONENTS WHEN REDESIGNING

Any map redesign is nuanced, but I want to look at five things that helped make this redesign more successful and that can be applied to similar projects:

  1. GRATITUDE

I think this is one of the most important steps: feel gratitude. I was/am very grateful for what came before. The original map was a really nice design, which was a huge bonus. It made the redesign easier in many ways. Even if it hadn’t been, what comes before is one of the pillars for building that which comes after.

  1. ONE CHANGE LEADS TO ANOTHER

The map changes were focused around road widths, label hierarchy, and some colour adjustment. At first glance that doesn’t seem like a lot, but it really is. One change leads to another. By the end of the project, every single feature had been adjusted, and it really is a new map in so many ways.

  1. DIALOGUE WITH THE INVOLVED PARTIES

It is important to have an open dialogue with the parties involved. Listen to their concerns and explain your choices. The more openness, the better a chance of success.

  1. MEASURING SUCCESS

One obvious metric is whether the stakeholders are happy. Another measure of success in this project’s redesign was whether the changes generally went unnoticed by everyone else.

  1. THERE WILL ALWAYS BE OTHER UPDATES

The update process never ends. There are already some tweaks that are needed. In the future, maybe I will have to do a complete redesign again, or maybe someone will have to update what I have done. The point is, it is never-ending journey.

 

LET’S TAKE A LOOK

Here is a look at some of the Navigation redesign. The new design is the first image in the following breakdown.

At the smallest scales the changes were very minimal. The colours are a hint more vibrant, and the city label positions were changed.

Navigation New Scale 2
Navigation Old Scale 2

At this scale, some of the focus was on changing the colour balance. It is also a good scale to see how the changes aren’t drastic and are mainly noticeable only in a side-by-side comparison.

Navigation New Scale 4
Navigation Old Scale 4

A goal at this scale was to help the transition and tone down the road density.

Navigation New Scale 6
Navigation Old Scale 6

This was another scale where that same road transition technique was applied.

Navigation New Scale 8
Navigation Old Scale 8

Again, that road transition technique was applied. It hasn’t been mentioned, but at this scale and others, the city labels are larger and darker than on the original map.

Navigation New Scale 9
Navigation Old Scale 9

This scale is a good example to again show how the maps are fairly similar but the new one is a bit more vibrant and the colours are balanced slightly differently.

Navigation New Scale 11
Navigation Old Scale 11

One goal at this scale was to promote the roads slightly more.

Navigation New Scale 12
Navigation Old Scale 12

This scale is a good example of the increased importance placed on street names in the hierarchy. The adjusted symbology also opens the map up too.

Navigation New Scale 13
Navigation Old Scale 13

The map changes the most at the largest scales. The roads start to become much wider, and the labels are much darker and larger. The buildings stand out more too. The colour scheme follows the previous patterns and is brighter and the map moves away from a slightly backgroundy look that is had before.

Navigation New Scale 15
Navigation Old Scale 15

This is the last example and a good illustration that shows how maps evolve. Our maps continue to get more detailed, and greater emphasis is placed on larger and larger scales. The maps have to continue to evolve to better represent those scales and details.

Navigation New Scale 18
Navigation Old Scale 18

Thanks for coming along with me on this journey. I had a great time. I want to note that the ArcGIS Vector Tile Style Editor was the tool used to redesign this map. If you haven’t used it, it is totally worth your time!

This blog post was originally posted to the ArcGIS blog page on May 23, 2019.

 

Since the last blog about Esri Vector Basemaps, we rolled out several data updates in our tile set. These changes include HERE commercial data updates, authoritative Community Maps Program contributions , Community Maps Editor additions of highly detailed “campus” areas, and open data updates. In addition to updated map content, several map styles were improved. The most notable change is in the World Navigation vector tile layer. The updated style allows for better use on mobile devices through Runtime as well as in ArcGIS Online and Pro applications. This separate blog post provides our cartographer’s insight to his Navigation redesign.

 

Navigation Vector Basemap

Updated Navigation vector basemap style

 


Basemap Localization:  Turkish

Turkish is our 18th language with localized maps, aside from our global English map. Each language displays in ten basemap styles. For localized language maps in your ArcGIS.com gallery, change your organization’s Region and Language in the General settings. Set Esri vector basemaps as the default gallery. This option is in the Map settings. More language updates are planned in future releases. Each link directs you to a group of web maps in that language:
Arabic | Chinese (Hong Kong) | Chinese (Taiwan) | Modern Chinese | Czech | Finnish | French| German | Hebrew | Italian | Japanese | Korean | Polish | Brazilian Portuguese | Russian |Spanish | Swedish | Turkish

 

 

Other Localization and Customization

Do you want one of your custom-styled Esri vector basemaps to displays a localized language? Our World_Basemap_v2 tile set includes the language data that allows you to do that. See the Esri Vector Basemap Reference Document (v2) for details on how to customize your map to expose translated labels. The reference document includes the list of layers supported and the 2-digit language code you apply to the json. Try starting with one of our existing localized map styles and apply your own cartographic styling.

Additionally, the reference document provides how-to details on customizing Esri vector basemap boundaries and names to show different world views. Boundaries are changeable from disputed to non-disputed. Displaying alternate names for select features is possible with json edits (for example:  The Gulf -or- Persian Gulf -or- Arabian Gulf).

 


Esri Vector Basemaps Tile Style Editor

Customize the look of your own vector basemaps

In addition to language or geopolitical customization, you can also edit overall cartographic styling. Change the root.json code in a text editor and update your tile layer. Alternately, try the ArcGIS Vector Tile Style Editor (beta) app for a user-friendly styling experience.  The Quick Editor function changes groups of features on layers en masse.  In contrast, the editor also has an Edit Layer Styles option for a deep dive into individual map specifications. Change style settings for text, sprites, lines, polygons, and point features with the editor app. Use it to edit an Esri vector basemap style or your own vector tile layer created through ArcGIS Pro.

We also have a Customizing Esri’s Vector Basemaps series of story maps. Topics include the Basics, Color, Lines, Labels, and Sprites. These reference tools can help when you’re modifying an existing vector basemap or when you’re creating your own multi-scale vector maps.

 


The Vector Road Ahead

Stay tuned to this blog page and the vector basemap group for new vector basemap styles available in ArcGIS Online. Some new map styles are being built for specific apps while others  provide unique cartographic presentations of the Esri Vector Basemap tile set.

 


Esri Vector Basemaps:  Feedback

Have you ever seen a problem with Esri Vector Basemap data or display? Report issues directly on this Feedback Map. Our team reviews your comments and considers the update for one of our frequent releases.

byDeane Kensok | This blog was originally posted on the Esri blog website

 

Last summer, we introduced a new OpenStreetMap Vector Basemap, initially available in beta release.  Since that time, we have made several updates to the basemap and improved the integration with ArcGIS Online.  With the March update of ArcGIS Online, the OpenStreetMap vector basemap is now in general release and available to you through the basemap gallery in ArcGIS Online.  This means that you can now freely use this new OpenStreetMap vector basemap in your production maps and apps!

 

About the Map

Esri now hosts a live replica of the OpenStreetMap (OSM) data, which we reference with ArcGIS Pro to build and publish a hosted vector tile layer in ArcGIS Online.  As with our Esri basemaps, we refresh the OpenStreetMap vector basemap every 3 weeks with the latest OSM data worldwide.  The OpenStreetMap vector basemap is displayed, by default, using the familiar OSM cartography.  Because it is a vector basemap, however, Esri and our users are able to re-style the basemap in many different ways.

 

Best of all, the OpenStreetMap vector basemap hosted by Esri is freely available to any user or developer to use in your map or app!  The OpenStreetMap vector basemap hosted by Esri is provided under a Creative Commons by Attribution (CC BY 4.0) license so that it may be used freely, and without transaction limits, in your internal and public facing maps.  You just need to give appropriate credit for use of the map (i.e. “Map data © OpenStreetMap contributors, Map layer by Esri”) in your work.

 

Accessing the Map

As mentioned above, the OpenStreetMap vector basemap is now available in the ArcGIS Online basemap gallery.  This is the case for ArcGIS Online organizations that have configured the Basemap Gallery to use the Esri Default maps and have enabled use of Esri vector basemaps (as shown below).  If your organization has not yet enabled use of Esri vector basemaps, we would encourage you to do that now.

 

You can also access the map through the OpenStreetMap Vector Basemap group.  If you are a developer, or a user embedding the map in a website or story map, we encourage you to use the web map referenced in this group, and also part of the Living Atlas, so that you take advantage of any updates in the style we make over time.

 

Styling the Map

Speaking of styles, Esri plans to release multiple map styles based on the OpenStreetMap vector basemap, similar to what we do with the Esri vector basemaps.  Some of these will be familiar styles, such as our Streets style, while others will be new and highlight some of the unique characteristics of the OSM data.  You’ll find these styles in the group above as they become available.

 

If you’d like to create your own style, you can do that through the Vector Tile Style Editor!  The Vector Tile Style Editor app has recently been updated to support re-styling of the OpenStreetMap basemap through the Quick Edit tools, along with the other Esri basemaps.  You can select the OpenStreetMap style to get started, use the Quick Edit tools to quickly re-style the many layers in the map to make it your own, and then save the custom map to your ArcGIS Online account.

 

We are very excited to see how you use the OpenStreetMap vector basemap in your maps and apps.  Stay tuned for more on how we are making OSM data easily available to you …

Esri vector basemaps updated

Recent updates to Esri Vector Basemaps deployed new map content from contributing cities and counties who supplied data through our Community Maps Program to enhance our maps. Contribute your organization’s local, authoritative content through this program.  Esri integrates your data with other providers and publishes the tile set as the ArcGIS Online vector basemap. Additionally, this release has one of the first rounds of contributions coming from the Esri Community Maps Editor. With the start of baseball spring training, there is a new Community Maps Challenge focused on compiling detailed content of the stadiums. Details available online.

https://www.esri.com/arcgis-blog/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/CommunityMapsEditor.jpg

Ralston High School campus and sport facilities compiled through the Esri Community Maps Editor app.

 


Basemap localization

Czech, Finnish, Hebrew, and Swedish are the newest languages in our vector basemap localization styles. Currently we publish 17 languages, besides our global English map, in nine basemap styles each. The available languages:

 

The link on the language names takes you to a group page of web maps. To get localized language maps in your ArcGIS.com gallery, change your organization’s Region and Language in the General settings. Make sure Esri vector basemaps are set as the default gallery. This option is in the Map settings. More language updates and more languages are planned in future releases. Translations are expanding across more feature classes and to larger scales.

 

Do you want to convert one of your custom Esri vector basemaps into a map that displays a localized language? Our World_Basemap_v2 tile set includes the language data that allows you to do that. See the Esri Vector Basemap Reference Document (v2) for details on how to customize your map to expose translated labels. The reference document includes the list of layers this supports and the 2-digit language codes needed when editing json. Try starting with one of our existing localized map styles and apply your own cartographic styling.

 

The reference document also provides details on how to customize the vector basemap boundaries and names to display a preferred world view. Disputed boundaries can be removed or changed to non-disputed. Alternate names for select features can appear on the map by json code modifications (for example, The Gulf -or- Persian Gulf -or- Arabian Gulf). Note:  North Macedonia country name can be exposed by a JSON modification to your own map layer. It will be the default name on the Esri Vector Basemaps in our March update.

https://www.esri.com/arcgis-blog/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/HebrewCustomNovaStyle.jpg

This example shows the Nova creative vector basemap style with Hebrew labels. You can achieve a similar result with any of the Esri creative styles or your own vector style built on the Esri Vector Basemaps. Make a copy of the tile layer in your own account using the ArcGIS Vector Tile Style Editor. Download the root.json style file from this new tile layer's item page. Select fields identified in the reference document are edited in Notepad++ changing _name to _name_he ("he" for Hebrew): "text-field" : "{_name_he}". Fonts also change to Arial Unicode (bold or regular) to display the appropriate glyphs, Finally, update the item's root.json style file.


https://www.esri.com/arcgis-blog/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/CommunityMapsStyle.jpg

Community:  a new creative style for vector basemaps

A new creative vector style is available for your basemap use. “Community” provides a customized world basemap that is uniquely symbolized. It is optimized for the display of special areas of interest (SAI) created and edited by Community Maps contributors. These special areas of interest features include landscaping polygons and sport ammenity lines. These are features such as grass, trees, rock, tennis courts, football and baseball lines, and more. This vector tile layer is built using the same data sources used for the World Topographic Map and other Esri basemaps. Cindy Prostak is the cartographer behind the design of Community, as well as many of our other creative styles including Charted Territory, Colored Pencil, Mid-Century, Modern Antique, Newspaper, and Nova.

 

Check out this Story Map which builds off both our Community Maps baseball stadium challenge and our new Community style vector basemap. It also presents a number of real-world running challenges for you to conquer!


https://www.esri.com/arcgis-blog/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/StyleEditor.jpg

Customize the look of your own vector basemaps

In addition to customizing the language or geopolitical view of your vector basemaps, you can also edit overall cartographic styling. Change the root.json code in a text editor and update your tile layer. Alternately, try the ArcGIS Vector Tile Style Editor (beta) app for a user-friendly experience to change your map’s look.  The Quick Editor function changes features en masse.  In contrast, the editor also has an Edit Layer Styles option for a deep dive into individual map specifications. Change style settings for text, sprites, lines, polygons, and point features with the editor app. Edit one of the Esri vector basemaps or use it to edit your own vector tile layer created through ArcGIS Pro.


Feedback

Have you ever seen a problem with Esri Vector Basemap data? Report issues directly on this Feedback Map. Our team reviews your comments and considers the update for one of our frequent releases.


This was originally posted on our ArcGIS Blog page:  What's New in Esri Vector Basemaps (February 2019)

Esri Vector Basemaps Updated

 

The recent update to Esri Vector Basemaps deployed new map content from contributing counties, cities, and campuses. They supplied data through our Community Map Program to enhance our maps. Contribute your organization’s local, authoritative content through this program.  Esri integrates your data with other providers and publishes the tile set as the ArcGIS Online vector basemap.

 

 

Hebrew Esri Vector Basemap

Basemap Localization

Hebrew is the newest language in our vector basemap localization styles. We currently publish 14 languages, each in nine different styles. The available languages other than English are:

Each link on a language name provides a group page of web maps. To get localized language maps in ArcGIS.com, change your organization’s Region and Language in the General settings. Make sure Esri vector basemaps are set as the default gallery. This option is in the Map settings.

 

More language updates are planned in upcoming releases. Translations are expanding across more feature classes and more scales. Want to display one of these localized languages in a different vector style? The tile set includes all the language data to do so. Make a copy and save the desired Esri tile layer to your account. Through json edits, set the language of select feature classes in your map. See the Esri Vector Basemap Reference Document (v2) for details on how to customize the map. The document includes a layer list with 2-digit language codes needed when editing json.

 

The reference document also provides details on how to customize the vector basemap boundaries and names to display a preferred world view. Disputed boundaries can be removed or changed to non-disputed. Alternate names for select features can appear on the map by json code modifications (for example, The Gulf -or- Persian Gulf -or- Arabian Gulf).

 

Customize disputed labels Esri Vector Basemaps

 


 

Esri Vector Tile Layer Style Editor

Customize your Look

In addition to customizing the language or geopolitical view of your vector basemaps, you can also edit overall cartographic styling. Change the root.json code in a text editor and update your tile layer. Alternately, try the ArcGIS Vector Tile Style Editor (beta) app for a user-friendly experience to change your map’s look.  The Quick Editor function changes features en masse.  In contrast, the editor also has an Edit Layer Styles option for a deep dive into individual map specifications. Change style settings for text, sprites, lines, polygons, and point features with the editor app. Edit one of the Esri vector basemaps or use it to edit your own vector tile layer created through ArcGIS Pro.

 

Feedback

Have you ever seen a problem with Esri Vector Basemap data? Report issues directly on this Feedback Map. Our team reviews your comments and considers the update for one of our frequent releases.

 

GeoNet:  The Esri Community

Finally, ask questions, share updates, and browse the ArcGIS Living Atlas of the World product page.

This blog was originally posted on the esri.com ArcGIS blog site. For more Esri vector basemap blogs, see this page.

 

Esri Vector Basemaps were recently updated with new data, a new Ocean Reference style and made more localized languages available.

 

New content added to the Esri Vector Basemap tile set is available across all the styles of our vector tile layers. These updates include data from HERE as well as from our Community Maps Program contributors. The banner image of this blog shows voestalpine steel mill in Austria, a new addition of contributed data to the map. This industrial campus displays trees, parking lots, and other special areas pertinent to this site. Learn more about what data your campus or community can contribute to the ArcGIS.com platform. Visit this Living Atlas of the World page.

The Living Atlas is also a great place to find the Esri Vector Basemaps. Find the layers and maps directly from the Living Atlas website or search the Living Atlas through ArcGIS Online (left image below) or Pro (right). Narrow your search to vector maps, a sub-category of the basemaps category. Additionally, the Esri Vector Basemaps can be set as the default maps for your basemap gallery.

 

ArcGIS.com and Pro windows

 

Ocean reference vector layer

New additions to the suite of Esri Vector Basemap layers and maps are the World Ocean Reference vector layer and Ocean Basemap web map which utilitizes the vector layer. The new vector ocean reference layer has similar content and design as the existing raster ocean reference layer (boundaries and all labels). Because it is vector format, there is the ability to customize not only the content of the layer, but also the appearance of the display. This includes changing boundary line symbolization and font styles (face, color, size). This customization can be made through the editing of the root.json style file of your tile layer or through the ArcGIS Vector Tile Style Editor app.

 

World Ocean Reference layer file

 

Localization of vector basemaps

There are three additional languages available across the vector basemap styles. This brings our current total to twelve languages. Each language localized is available in nine different basemap styles. New are Arabic, Chinese (Hong Kong) and Chinese (Taiwan). These join previously released Modern ChineseFrenchGermanItalianJapanesePolishBrazilian PortugueseRussian, and Spanish. To make localized maps the default basemap, change the organization’s Region and Language in the General settings. Also, change the Map setting to display Esri vector basemaps as the default gallery. Each language above is linked to a group of web maps. Localized labels display primarily at small scales; however, we are expanding translations across more feature classes and at more scales. Additional languages will be deployed in future releases.

 

 

Customizing Esri Vector Basemaps

The Esri Tile Layer Style Editor (Beta) provides an easy way to customize vector basemaps. Experiment (& save!) different cartographic styles with this app. Start from an Esri vector basemap or one of your own vector tile layers. Two styling paths exist:

 

Quick Edit is only configured for Esri vector basemaps. This quick path sorts map features into six high-level categories. Apply random colors for cartographic inspiration, or apply a pre-defined color palette to each category.

 

Edit Layer Styles works with Esri vector maps and your own styles. It offers more control over each map feature’s spec. Countless options are available to customize your new vector map. Save your new style as a tile layer in your ArcGIS.com account and use the new style in your web maps and apps. This blog and space on GeoNet offers information about the Style Editor. This recent Esri Webinar showcased the Style Editor. Follow-up questions and answers are at this Living Atlas GeoNet page.

 

Style Editor for quick edit changes

 

Feedback

Have you ever seen a problem with Esri Vector Basemap data that needs to be fixed? Report issues directly on this Feedback Map. Our team reviews your comments and considers the update for one of our frequent releases.