Ask A Cartographer

Good looking roads?

March 07 2011 | 3 comments
Categories: Symbology

Hello! Please see the attached; I have seen a number of Esri maps (including the basemap) which depict roads with two strokes and no unpleasant interruptions between segments. How is this achieved? Thank you!

Mapping Center Answer:

The answer is to use Symbol Level Drawing and the Join and Merge options.  This is especially useful for drawing roads, though you can also use Symbol Level Drawing for otehr cartographic effects.  The Join option will make all roads with the SAME symbol appear connect, and the Merge option will make all roads with DIFFERENT symbols appear connected.  The order of the drawing will determine what appears to be connected to what. Step-by-step instructions are here:  Working with symbol level drawing.

Visible Gaps at line junctions posted by Sean McVeigh on Mar 15 2011 6:03AM
I have tried this with some Ordnance road network data (ITN), but I still get wedge shaped gaps where two road lines connect at an angle. The gap depends on the the angle of connection.
Thanks! posted by Marianne Farretta on Mar 16 2011 4:06PM
This is great! And to the wedge-shaped intersection user: have you tinkered with the Cartographic Line settings? My current settings are Line Caps: Butt and Line Joins: Round, and it looks great. Thanks again!
To avoid the "wedges" posted by Aileen Buckley on Mar 30 2011 11:51AM
To avoid the "wedges" in the sharply angled lines, you should use round caps to smooth the edges. If you need square ends, then use one of the following approaches:

A) Convert to representations and then use the "Calculate End Caps" tool to override the end cap for dangles


B) Use the Cul-de-Sac mask tool to create mask polygons which can then be used to mask out the round end caps

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