Atlas Library

Reusable components used in mapping


NOTE: The content of the Atlas Library is currently under construction. Please report broken links.

Expand All | Collapse All

Atlas Library

The Gallery section of the Maps area provides finalized maps. This Library section provides the components that are used in the final maps. The intent is to make these components available for reuse.

Bookmarks are the "places" in mapping. A spatial bookmark identifies a particular geographic location that you want to save and reference later. For example, you might create a spatial bookmark that identifies a study area. As you pan and zoom around your map, you can easily return to the study area by accessing the bookmark.

Expressions are statements that determine label text. Label expressions typically concatenate or modify the contents of one or more fields, and may add additional text strings to create more informative labels. They can contain Visual Basic script or JScript to add logic, text processing, and formatting for the labels.

Images are some of those used on maps such as in footers. Images used on most maps are included in the map file. Original graphics are available on request.

Layers store the path to a source dataset and other layer properties, including symbology. Note that the path in a layer file may need to be adjusted to fit the user's library structure.

Scripts (e.g. Python) help automate map manipulation.

Styles are a collection of predefined colors, symbols, properties of symbols, and map elements that allow a mapping standard to be followed and help promote consistency in mapping products.

Styles help define not only how data is drawn but also the appearance and placement of map elements and other cartographic additions on a map. Every time a particular map element or symbol is chosen and applied, the contents of a style is being used.

Benefits of using styles include

  • Maintaining mapping standards for symbols, colors, patterns, methods of rendering distributions, relationships, and trends
  • Communicating more effectively through familiar styles that enable people to easily explore, understand, and analyze a map
  • Using a map template with referenced styles or groups of styles when creating a map or map series
  • Standardizing map symbolization so maps will look the same when they are published or printed with different printers

Symbols are the graphics used to represent a geographic feature or class of features. Symbols can look like what they represent (trees, railroads, houses), or they can be abstract shapes (points, lines, polygons) or characters. Symbols are usually explained in a map legend.

Map Files are the original maps (.mxd) and require GIS software to view and change.