Helpful resources for layer display

Maps, and especially map layers, bring GIS data to life. They are the primary way that GIS practitioners communicate information. Creating effective, beautiful, compelling map layers that can communicate is at the heart of great maps. While the topics in this part of the help describe the mechanics, it's important that users be able to share ideas and adopt existing map designs to improve their own maps. This topic provides links to some key resources to help you.

The ArcGIS Mapping Center

The ArcGIS Mapping Center is a Web site for cartographers and GIS practitioners who share ideas and design tips with one another. It has an immense library of great maps, layer designs, examples, and instructional lessons that can help you make better maps. If you want to know how to accomplish a particular map task, there is an article that can help you. And if not, you can ask a cartographer, who will begin to work on an approach to your problem.

This is a fantastic resource for all ArcGIS users who want to learn mapping—both advanced and novice users of ArcMap.

The Map Template Gallery

Another useful Web resource is the gallery of map templates that you can download and use in your own work. The Map Template Gallery contains a number of downloadable ArcMap documents and geodatabases that demonstrate how certain critical maps are built using ArcGIS, how the data is structured and organized in the geodatabase, and how symbols are specified and used for layer display.

Maps in the map gallery include map designs that work at multiple map scales on the Web and also printed maps that support a number of common tasks and workflows of the GIS community. Many of the map templates are the same designs used in the map services at ArcGIS online.