Creating Maps and Visualizations with ArcGIS


Learn fundamental cartographic design principles and a standard workflow to produce print and online maps tailored to their purpose, medium, and intended audience. This course teaches ArcGIS Pro techniques to create and share a variety of professional-quality information products including print maps, web maps, 3D scenes, animations, and charts.

Who Should Attend

GIS professionals and others who have an introductory-level knowledge of GIS concepts and limited ArcGIS experience.


After completion of this course you will be able to:

  • Prepare data for a mapping project.
  • Design map elements that are appropriate for your data, audience, map purpose, and delivery medium.
  • Apply 2D and 3D cartographic best practices to create and share print maps, web maps, and 3D scenes.
  • Create animations to dynamically visualize data and change over time.


Completion of ArcGIS Pro: Essential Workflows or Migrating from ArcMap to ArcGIS Pro or equivalent knowledge.

Course Outline

Introduction to designing maps and visualization

  • Why create maps?
  • Audience and purpose
  • ArcGIS information products
  • Design considerations
  • The cartographic workflow

Data for information products

  • Cartographic workflow: Data
  • Evaluating spatial data
  • Levels of measurement
  • Accuracy and precision
  • Sources of error
  • Scale and resolution
  • Coordinate systems
  • Generalization techniques

Symbolizing data

  • Cartographic workflow: Symbology
  • Components of color
  • Visual variables
  • Choosing visual variables
  • Designing symbols
  • Symbolizing by attribute
  • Visualizing data ranges
  • Color schemes
  • Figure-ground organization
  • Reference and thematic maps

Working with map text

  • Cartographic workflow: Symbology – Text
  • Working with labels and annotation
  • Text placement
  • Using text to create visual hierarchy
  • Visual variables for text symbols
  • Type basics for cartography

Print map layouts

  • Cartographic workflow: Layout and output
  • Creating a pattern of reading
  • Map elements
  • Map description
  • Map scale
  • Map orientation
  • Visual balance and hierarchy in print maps

Design considerations for web maps

  • Web maps
  • Web maps versus print maps
  • Audience and purpose
  • Devices and software
  • Cartography and user experience
  • Predominance web maps

Publishing web maps for multiple devices

  • Projections in web maps
  • Map scales and symbol sizes
  • Tile layers
  • Web map symbology
  • Configuring pop-ups

Creating 3D scenes

  • Functional surfaces
  • Why use 3D?
  • Web scenes
  • Global and local 3D scenes
  • Scene styles
  • Elements of a 3D scene
  • Surfaces
  • Features
  • 3D text and labeling
  • Scene surrounds and effects
  • Challenges with 3D

Visualizing data using charts

  • When to use charts, maps, or both
  • Why use charts?
  • Using charts in information products
  • Visualize data using charts
  • Types of charts


  • Types of animation in ArcGIS
  • Animation components
  • What makes an animation effective?
  • Dynamic visual variables