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creating line blurry shadows

May 27 2008 | 0 comments

I am looking at the book "Designed Maps, A sourcebook for GIS Users" by Cynthia Brewer and on page 30 & 31 there is a map showing bus ridership analysis zones from Fairfax Virgina. The bus lines pop out at you because in the paragraph on page 30 it reads "The bus routes hover over the background with a blurred shadow, bringing them forward as the main map topic and also separating them from the buffer areas lying on the surface."

How do you create the blurred shadow effect? I tried using a multi-ringed buffer but I am not getting the same effect. Any help would be appreciated.

Mapping Center Answer:

This type of semi-transparent drop shadow effect is not easy to achieve with ArcMap, there are two general workflows you might use, but neither create the exact effect you see in the Brewer book, which was probably created with Adobe Illustrator. You've already tried the buffer polygon, which didn't work for you. The other method is to create a raster from the buffer and apply a Euclidean Distance calculation to the output, and use the values to fade out the colors. A discussion of how this effect can be created is contained in an ESRI Knowledge Base article titled: "What are coastal vignettes and how can I create them?" - ArticleID 28823.

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