The term “symbolization” applies to the style that is applied to the data on a map. color, icons, and line weight all play a major factor in how the map looks and feels.
- [Instructor] It's not enough to display a bunch of data on a map. In order to make a map legible and frankly useable, you need to spend some time ensuring that you've chosen appropriate colors, icons, and line weights. Together, these fall under the category of symbolization. Making sure that your map's symbology is in order is what separates a good map from a bad one. Let's start exploring this by taking a look at some point symbols. Now I've currently got a world topographic map that's centered on Yosemite Valley in California. Inside the projects pane, we can explore the database's folder, and then go into the default database for this project, where we'll see lots of different data files that we could work with.
I want to come down and grab the viewpoint data set and drag and drop it into the map document, here in the contents pane. That'll add in the viewpoint feature class and it give it a randomized symbology. On my map, they came in as yellow points. Now in order to change the symbology, what I can do is click on the symbol patch that appears below the viewpoint and then come up to the new contextual tab that just appeared at the top. I'll choose the appearance tab. On the appearance tab, we can set transparency, using this slider here, so right now they're fully opaque and if I slide this transparency slider, I can make them more or less transparent.
Go ahead and make them fully opaque again by dragging it all the way to the left. If I wanted to start working with the color, icon and size of the points that actually appear on the map, then we'll visit the drawing section of the appearance tab and click on the symbology button. That'll activate the symbology pane on the right side of the interface. From there, we'll click on the representative symbol patch and then take us to an interface where we can modify how it gets displayed in the map. We have two different options at the top. We can either choose a premade symbol from a gallery or alter the properties on our own. In the gallery, you can scroll through all the different symbols tat come built into ArcGIS Pro and there are a lot to choose from here.
If you want, though, go ahead and switch over to the properties tab. This is where we'll have fine control over the exact look of our symbol. There's three different components to the properties tab. We have this icon here with a paintbrush that stands for symbol, we then have layers, and then we have some structure-based elements. Let's first take a look at the symbol one with the paintbrush icon. On the bottom of the screen, we have a representation of how the symbol is going to look and it actually takes over a large piece of the interface, so I'm going to grab here, where we have the three dots, and when I hover my mouse over that, I'll get a double-headed arrow.
I'll just go ahead and click and drag down a little bit to give myself some more room up below. Then, we can take a look at changing the color for our symbol. Right now, it's this yellow color and if I use the drop down menu, we can choose from a list of premade color patches or click color properties at the bottom and dial in our own color. We can choose a color model from RGB, HSV, HSL, Lab, grayscale, or CMYK. Go ahead and press okay and then I'll return us back to the main interface. And then from the dropdown list, I'm going to choose this color here, called topaz sand.
That'll update what we're seeing below in the preview pane. Next, we can change the size. Right now, it's set as a six point size. We can go ahead and go up to, let's say about 10. We can change the angle if we wanted but with a circle, it really doesn't matter what the angle is, so I'll leave that at zero. And then we could leave the angle alignment set to display. The other option is to angle it according to the angle of the map. Below appearance we have a section called halo and if you click on that, you'll expand the different options that we have under that. Let's go ahead and scroll down a little bit in the interface. Currently, we don't have a halo being applied to our symbols so we can go ahead and click this and we can choose how we want to visualize the halo.
And a halo is just something that appears on the outside of the symbol. We can choose a black fill, for instance, and you'll see that we get a new, black circle on the outside of our symbol. Once we've chosen a halo symbol, we can adjust its color and its outline color. Let's go ahead and change both of these to white. Again, that'll update the preview that we're seeing down below. We can change the width of the outline, right now it's set to zero but we can go up in which case you'll see a thicker halo appeared in the outside of our symbol down there. Let's take it to about two points. Finally, we have the halo size and we can start to increase this if we want, as well.
So that's another way we could increase the size of the halo outside of our symbol. I'll take this back down to one point. So those are some of the basic properties that we have in this first section called symbol. Let's switch over to the layers section. In the layer section, we have finer control over the shape of our symbol. At the very top, we can choose a basic shape from this dropdown menu. We can choose a circle, a square, a triangle and so on. I kind of like this map pin icon. It's kind of got a tapered bottom to it and I kind of like that. Let's go ahead and select that one. If we didn't like any of those basic shapes, we can also choose a shape from a style, which will load up the premade styles that we saw previously in the ESRI gallery.
Let's go ahead and cancel that. We can choose a shape from a font, which will load all of the symbol fonts on our computer. ArcGIS ships with a number of different symbol fonts that we can choose from that relate to different industries. If you scroll down, we'll see all of those here. We've got ESRI climate and precipitation, ESRI elements, ESRI environmental hazards, ESRI geology, ESRI forestry, and so on. So lots of different symbols that we can choose from in these symbol fonts. Let's go ahead and press cancel to that. We also have the option of loading our own symbol from a file. If I click on this, it'll let me browse onto my computer or I could find a symbol file in the EMF data format.
Let's go ahead and press cancel to that. Once we've chosen a shape for our symbol, we can choose the fill symbol. Right now, it's set to a solid fill, which is this first patch here, but we have the option of choosing a solid fill with a point five outline, with a one point outline, with an outline only, with a gradient fill and with a buffered gradient fill, which will kind of fill it in with a kind of star appearance. I'm going to leave it set to the solid fill. Then we can set our color once again. Using the dropdown menu, I'm going to choose that same topaz sand color from the popup menu.
We could choose an outline color. Right now, it's set to black. I'll go ahead and change it to a darker brown. How about this leather brown at the bottom? Let's go ahead and scroll down a little bit. Next we can set an outline width. Right now, it's set to zero point, so we're not actually seeing this leather brown color in the preview at the bottom. Let's change that up to one point. Then we can set the size of our symbol. Right now it's 10, let's go up to 15. At any point of time, if you want to see this symbol applied on your map, just press the apply button at the bottom and that'll update the visualization here in the map view. Let's go ahead and scroll down a little bit more.
We also have options to set the position of the symbol. I scroll down a little bit further. We can see that the default is to set it to the anchor point presets. For our push pin style marker, it might make sense to choose the center bottom position so that the point of the marker appears in the correct location. We'll go ahead and choose that, you'll see it updates here and when I press apply, you'll notice that the markers shift a little bit here on the map view. We can also specify some rotation information and an offset if we want to offset the symbol from the actual point location on the map. So those are the options that are available here in the layers section.
Let's switch over to the structures section, which is this wrench icon at the top. Here we can add a global effect. And if you press add effect, we can add in a buffer or a radial or a regular polygon. We can add in some different effects to our symbol. We'll just go ahead and leave those off. We could also start to add layers to our symbol, which means to add in additional shapes on top of the one of the one that we've already chosen. Right now, we have a single layer, that's this little pushpin with the tapered bottom. If we add a new symbol layer, we can choose a marker, a stroke, or a fill. Let's choose another marker. It defaults to a black circle here.
Let's go ahead and drag that to the bottom. I'll grab on this handle here on the left side and just drag and drop it below the other push pin. Then I can scroll down on the interface to see its effect. In the preview, you see the combination of the two symbols together. Then I'll switch back to the layers section where we can modify the shape marker for the pushpin style or I can click onto the circle and modify its properties. Let's scroll back up to the top. I'm going to leave it as a circle shape. We'll scroll down, I'll leave the shape fill symbol to a solid fill. The color, I'm going to choose as a darker red.
How about this one right here, this cordovan brown? I'm not going to use any outline color, so we'll just go ahead and change it to no color. Go ahead and scroll down a little bit. And I think the size is a little bit big so let's go ahead and shrink this down to maybe about five points. Now we have a nice red dot at the base of the pushpin icon. I'll press the apply button to see how that looks in my map view and when I'm happy with the results, go ahead and press the back button on the symbology pane to return us back to the main symbology options. Back on this main page, we can add in a label in the description that might show up on one of the legends that we build later on.
Let's go ahead and call this viewpoints with a capital V. And we'll see that it gets updated here in the contents pane on the left side of the screen. For the description, I'll just type Yosemite viewpoints. To finish working on the symbology, all you need to do is switch back to the project pane and that symbology gets saved into the map. Let's go ahead and press Control + S on our keyboard to save our map document and we are done working on this point symbol. If we ever want to return to the point symbol, simply click on it the drawing order of the content section, and either switch to the symbology tab or we'll activate it or you can come up to the appearance tab and activate the symbology tab there, if it's not already on the screen.
So adding basic symbol styles to your map can make them easier to read. With a symbology pane, you have easy access to choosing the shape and colors that best suit your data.
- Creating a new map project
- Adding data sources to the project
- Managing data layers on the map
- Saving a project template
- Drawing new map features
- Querying and extracting features
- Creating geoprocessing models and packages
- Modifying the look and feel of the map through symbology options
- Adding map labels
- Working with 3D scenes
- Developing a map layout
- Sharing the map and data