3. Use ArcGIS ONLY for Making Figure Building Block – Advanced GIS Courses: WATS USU

! Why? Because ArcGIS is a finicky, klutzy slow and cumbersome environment that does not always behave consistently. There are more powerful and efficient software (see ) to put together a figure. Having said that, if you are making a simple figure, ArcGIS alone will often suffice. If you have any thoughts of using this figure for multiple purposes (e.g. a slide in a talk, on a poster, on a website and in a report), get There are also several export options. Which option you choose will depend on the level of control you anticipate needing over your map and map elements (i.e. scale bar, north arrow, legend) once you've exported them. Generally we do not end up needing that much control over our maps since we won't make edits once maps been exported from Arc. But there are some situations where you may need to make edits, such as if your supervisor insists the inset map frame should be red and not black or you may end up submitting your report as a manuscript to a journal that uses a different font style. most journals will have a required dpi for submitted figures. The required dpi may vary depending on if the figure is color, grayscale, or a combination of the two. This information can generally be found under the journal's 'Author Guidelines' (e.g. : The biggest downside to exporting out of ArcGIS and into a vector graphics drawing package is you loose the ability to do meaningful spatial analyses, and you are no longer working with correctly georeferenced data. You need to be especially careful not to indepently re-scale different map features and scale bars (see video below for tips). In the video below, Sara shows us a slightly different version of above... Sara uses a few different methods, but both videos provide useful tips and tricks: Source.


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Last Modified: April 25, 2016 @ 10:05 pm