Ask A Cartographer

Labels in web mapping - how to make them work when aerials can be turned on/off...

August 02 2011 | 4 comments
Categories: Labeling, Symbology

I have a web mapping application in which users can choose to turn aerials on/off. Do you have any suggestions for choosing labels that look good when the aerials are on, but still look good when the aerials are off. I've read your post in which you suggest a brighter color for the label and then a darker color for the halo, but that doesn't always look good when aerials are turned off.

I can't create cached basemaps to resolve the issue because the data changes frequently. I also don't want to make my users turn on one label if they've got aerials and a different label if they don't (and I'm using a vendor product so I can't code a solution).

Any help is greatly appreciated!

Mapping Center Answer:

Try taking a look at the "Imagery Hybrid" baseamap template on the Local Government Resource Center:

http://www.arcgis.com/home/item.html?id=9c8b3044c4054d59b658184c3737c432

This template, which you can download, includes a map that has symbology and labeling to overlay an image.  It might have the kind of labeling that you are looking for, as I think it will work with the image turned off as well (although it was designed to have the image turned on).  If it is close, but not exaclty what you want, at least it gets you statted so all you have to do is a bit of editing.

Thank you posted by Shawna Ernst on Aug 5 2011 8:00AM
Thanks for your reply. That example is actually very similar to what I'm using. The only difference is that in the example they can use a thinner halo because they are creating a cached map service. Since my service is dynamic, I have had to render larger halos in order to make them look smooth at the edges. Halos just look better after they've been rendered into an image by the software- on screen they can look jagged.

Thanks again,
Shawna
Anti-aliasing posted by Aileen Buckley on Aug 5 2011 8:15AM
I think you are right, Shawna -- depending on how you make the cache, you cna use things like anit-aliasing to deal with jagged edges. Look for our upcoming blog post on carto design for Web maps for other tips, too.
Thanks! posted by Shawna Ernst on Aug 5 2011 8:17AM
Thanks, Aileen. I'll make sure to check it out.

Shawna
It's up! posted by Aileen Buckley on Aug 5 2011 8:20AM
I just checked -- it's up now:

http://blogs.esri.com/Support/blogs/mappingcenter/archive/2011/08/05/cartographic-design-for-web-maps.aspx

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