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Make a basemap

In this lesson, you will download a project with data and use ArcGIS Pro to build a basemap of Tequesquite Community Garden. This data was provided by UC Davis Arboretum and Public Garden. It includes 11 layers representing the features in the garden, including the plot boundaries, the garden perimeter fence, and an orchard section. You will symbolize these using a style file to build a nice-looking map of the garden.

Open the project

First, you will download and open an ArcGIS Pro project containing the data needed to map the garden.

  1. Download the Garden Map compressed folder.
  2. Right-click the downloaded folder and extract it to a location you can easily find, such as your Documents folder.
  3. Open the Garden Map folder. If you have ArcGIS Pro installed on your machine, double-click Garden Map.aprx to open it. If prompted, sign in using your licensed ArcGIS account.
    Note:

    If you don't have ArcGIS Pro or an ArcGIS account, you can sign up for an ArcGIS free trial.

    Garden map and Contents pane with default symbology

    The project contains a map of Tequesquite Community Garden. Besides the basemap, it has 11 layers. They are currently symbolized with default colors. This map would be a lot better if you used symbology that is better suited to the features on the map.

  4. In the Contents pane, click the colored symbol below TreePlantings.

    Symbol patch for TreePlantings layer in the Contents pane

    The Symbology pane appears.

  5. If necessary, switch to the Gallery tab.

    Polygon symbols shown in the Symbology pane Gallery

    This layer represents a large area of fruit trees surrounding part of the community garden. It would be nice to apply a tree pattern to this layer. However, there are no tree patterns in the list of default polygon symbols. The good news is that there are many more symbols available to you beyond the defaults. You can download the ones you want and add them to your project.

Add a new style

A style is a collection of symbols, colors, and other assets that you might use in creating maps. ArcGIS Pro comes with some default styles, but you can also make and share your own, or add styles to your project.

  1. On the ribbon, click the View tab. In the Windows group, click Catalog View.
  2. In Catalog View, double-click Styles.

    Styles folder in Catalog View

    The default styles for ArcGIS Pro are shown.

    Default styles shown in Catalog View

    You can explore inside of these styles to see all of their items. ArcGIS 2D contains the symbols you saw earlier in the symbology pane. You can find more symbols by adding a style from ArcGIS Online.

  3. On the ribbon, click the Styles tab. In the Project group, click Add, and click Add Style.

    Add Style command in the Add menu on the Manage Styles tab

  4. In the Add a style file window, in the navigation pane, click All Portal.
  5. In the search bar, type ESRI and press Enter.

    A list of style files is shown.

    Esri style files available in the Add a style file browsing window

  6. Click the style called ESRI and click OK. If you see a window asking if you want to upgrade the style, click Yes.

    A new style, called Esri_en, is added to your style list.

  7. Double-click ESRI_en to open it.

    Point symbols in the ESRI_en style

    Your garden map does not contain any point features, so you are more interested in seeing polygon symbols, rather than points.

  8. On the ribbon, in the Styles tab, in the Organize group, open the Show menu and click Polygon symbol.

    Show Polygon symbol on the Manage Styles tab

    The list updates to show all of the available polygon symbols. Scroll down to find several that look like they might be useful for mapping a garden.

    Polygon symbols, including Cropland, Open Pasture, and Orchard or Nursery

  9. Close the Catalog view.
  10. On the toolbar at the top corner of the ribbon, click the Save button.

    Save project on the Quick Access Toolbar

    The new style is now saved within your project, and its symbols will be available anytime you work inside Garden_Map.aprx.

Symbolize map layers

Symbolizing gives your map instant meaning by converting representations into self-explanatory symbols.

  1. In the Contents pane, click the colored symbol below TreePlantings.

    The Symbology pane appears in the Gallery view. This time, it shows the polygon symbols from the ESRI_en style.

  2. Scroll down and click Orchard or Nursery.

    Orchard or Nursery polygon symbol in the Symbology pane Gallery

    The map updates to use this symbol. The trees look good at some scales, but when you zoom in closer to the garden plots, they appear a bit small. You can edit the symbol by scaling up the tree size.

  3. In the Symbology pane, click the Properties tab. Click the Layers subtab.

    Symbology pane with the Properties and Layers tabs selected

    This symbol has two symbol layers: Solid stroke and Picture fill.

    Symbol layers for the Orchard or Nursery polygon symbol

  4. Choose the Picture fill symbol layer. Change Size to 36 pt.

    Change size to 36 pt in the Appearance section

  5. Click Apply.

    The tree pattern symbol applied to the map

  6. In the Contents pane, click on the symbol below GardenPlots to open the Symbology pane for that layer.
  7. In the Symbology pane, switch to the Gallery tab. Click the Cropland symbol.

    Cropland symbol

    The stippled pattern is nice, but it would be better to make these plots green to reflect what is growing there (mainly vegetables).

  8. In the Symbology pane, click the Properties tab and click the Symbol tab.

    Symbology pane with the Properties and Symbol tabs selected

  9. Change Color to Lemongrass and Outline color to Leaf Green.

    At the bottom of the Symbology pane, there is a window where you can view the final symbol and your changes.

    Symbol preview for GardenPlots

  10. Click Apply.

    Next, you'll symbolize the steel fence that separates the garden from the surrounding park.

  11. In the Contents pane, click the symbol below OuterFence to open the Symbology pane.
  12. In the Symbology pane, change Color to Gray 20% and Line width to 2 pt.

    Symbology properties for the outer fence layer, open to the Properties and Symbol tabs

  13. Click Apply.
  14. Open the Symbology pane for WildflowerField. From the Gallery, choose Swamp.

    The Swamp symbol in the Symbology pane Gallery

    This doesn't seem like a particularly appropriate symbol, especially since Tequesquite Community Garden is in a fairly arid part of the world. But you can change the color to disassociate the pattern from water.

  15. In the Symbology pane, switch to the Properties tab. If necessary, switch to the Symbol tab.
  16. Change Color to Macaw Green and Outline color to No color. Click Apply.
  17. Open the Symbology pane for the Lawn layer. In the Gallery tab, choose Grassland.
  18. Change Color to Olivine Yellow and Outline color to No color. Click Apply.

    Color and outline symbol properties for the Lawn symbol

  19. Open the Symbology pane for the ParkWalkway layer and switch to the Gallery tab. In the search bar, type gray and press Enter.
  20. Click Gray 20%.

    Gray 20% polygon symbol in the Symbology pane Gallery

    The map updates to use the new symbol

    Garden map with new gray path symbol

  21. Open the Symbology pane for the ShadeAwning layer.
  22. In the Gallery, scroll down to the ArcGIS 2D style.

    There are a number of symbols here with pale colors and no outlines. They have names that are suggestive of features for which they might be used. None of these names match Shade awning, but they are still useful symbols.

    Polygon symbols from the ArcGIS 2D style in the Symbology pane Gallery

  23. Click Industrial.
  24. For the following layers, open the symbol Gallery and choose the following ESRI symbols:
    • For Easements, choose Sand.
    • For FloodControlChannel, choose Water Intermittent.
    • For GroupPlantingAreas, choose Scrub 1.
    • For Path, choose Sand.

    When picking symbols, it is important to understand the feature that you are symbolizing, and what it represents in the real world. Easements are utility-controlled strips of land that must be kept clear for public works access. They are essentially just dirt, so the sand symbol is appropriate. Group planting areas are currently covered in ground scrub. If you are not sure what a particular layer represents, it is always worth consulting the metadata, or the person who gave you the data.

    You have now symbolized all of the layers in the garden map.

  25. In the Contents pane, uncheck World Topographic Map to turn it off.

    You will need this layer later for sharing a web map, but it does not need to be visible.

    The finished map and Contents pane with the basemap not visible

  26. Save the project.

In this lesson, you accessed a set of features from a file geodatabase and a style file from ArcGIS Online. You symbolized each layer to build a basemap of a community garden. In the next lesson, you'll publish this new basemap to the web.