Basemap resolution when exporting/ giant file size

12-08-2023 08:10 PM
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Occasional Contributor


I have always had a problem w/basemap resolution when exporting maps. I figured out how to change all of my export settings so that the maps look great when I export - but then the file size is so large that recipients complain that they can't open or work with the files and ask me to reduce them. And then, of course, when I reduce the file size, the maps look terrible again. 

It's generally the basemap and labels on the basemap that are the problem - but they look so bad that it's completely unacceptable. The only solution seems to be that I need to go and just create all of my own basemaps again, build out streets, city names, etc., etc., and that can be an awful lot of work for what should be an otherwise simple project. Sometimes there are still weird labels or items that I can't get rid of, even when I turn the reference layer off.

What do you all do about this? Do you just create your own basemaps of roads, feature labels, etc.? It's just maddening that there are these beautiful basemaps and I can't make use of them.

(Though, separate issue that I need to figure out: there are lots of basemaps I used do use in ArcMap that were easily accessible within Map that I can't find or import into Pro anymore using Catalog and that makes me super sad as well. I'm sure there's another whole far more complicated process I need to figure out to access those - if it's still possible.)

Thank you!!

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Occasional Contributor II

If you’re referring to exporting PDFs, we use the default basemaps provided by ESRI in the ribbon. There are additional basemaps from ESRI you can import via your Portal/Online from the Living Atlas content (see here for documentation on that process). We also have our own basemap dataset for roads, address points and county outlines. Some of this data could be sourced from the Living Atlas, but if your state or local municipal government has a GIS program, you may be able access the address points and roads not considered to be “major” from there.

As far as a simple solution goes, sending PDFs in a zip file can help but perhaps this is something obvious you have already tried. Here’s an older community post series (about an old version of Pro) that mentions “workarounds” on PDFs sizes that may still help:

Occasional Contributor

Thanks, Eugene,

Yes, I know how to add basemaps from Portal. They're just more difficult to find and preview than they used to be in Map, and then when I do find them, they usually won't add to my aprx. I know how to find and put together all of the road data, etc., it just adds loads of time to a project to make it look professional. Anyway, it doesn't help if the labels are so blurry in my finished maps that it looks worse than not having them at all. I guess I just need to spend a bunch of time making my own basemaps again, just like in the old days.

Sending pdfs in zip files doesn't help. It's not the transmission over email or whatever that's the problem, it's when the recipient tries to open, view and work with them that they get frustrated with the time it takes.

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