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ArcGIS Online Basemaps: How to set reference scale in ArcMap?

May 25 2011 | 3 comments
Categories: Publishing

I want to create a large format map for viewing at a distance using an ArcGIS Online Basemap. I set a small reference scale, and all of my other symbology gets fat at my desired scale. This is the expected result.

Unfortunately, the ArcGIS Online basemap ignores the reference scale, and draws with too much detail. I have tried this with the Street and Topographic basemaps, with the same result.

Is there a way to set a reference scale for ArcGIS Online basemaps in ArcMap?

Can I specify the cache scale that I want to draw? I am OK with a hack such as manipulating a local copy of the cache.


Mapping Center Answer:

I recently wrote a blog entry on how to create a large format display from an online basemap -- here is the link -- it might help:

Printing wall maps from the community basemap

One idea is to set up a display of your area of interest that has the amount of detail you want in the basemap, then export that map display as an georeferenced image (e.g., GeoTIFF).  Then you could insert a new data frame, add the georeferenced image (this will now be a static display), and then add your symbolized layers on top of that.  Then when you export the map, your layer symbology will be correct and the detail in the basemap will be right.

If you want a basemap with less detail, you will create your georeferenced image from a smaller scale; if you want more detail in your basemap, you'll use a larger map scale.  In either case, you just need to make sure that your area of interest is within the extent of the map image that you export.

How to enlarge labels when using Online basemap posted by Jonathan Frishtick on Oct 12 2011 9:59AM
I am using the Streets online basemap. For the extent of the area I need to have in my map, the buit-in labels are too small. Is there a way to change that? I have used the "flattened" technique before but in this instance, where I want the labels to be larger, that doesn't work unless I had a huge screen.
Workaround exporting an image posted by Jack Horton on Oct 12 2011 10:23AM
I worked around this issue by exporting an image of the basemap, georeferencing it, and using the local image as my basemap.

I was unable to export a geotiff, because you only get a geotiff if you export from data view. I had to export from layout view because I was unable to trick the software into thinking my screen display was 4 feet wide. I would be interested to hear about any workarounds anyone comes up with.

It would be ideal if the basemaps respected the reference scale, or if there was a way to specify the cache scale retrieved.
Streetmap on Esri Data & Maps DVD posted by Aileen Buckley on Oct 12 2011 12:07PM
Also note that there is a Streetmap layer on the Esri Data & Maps DVD -- you could actually add that into your ArcMap session and make ANY modifications to the map that you want.

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