Where are good places to find basemaps for California?
I need to create maps that encompass the entire state of California. I have found a few basemaps of the state and have used the ESRI streetmap_usa but it's very cumbersome. Does ESRI offer any state level basemaps (especially California!)? A map template map of the California would be great as well in the new map templates resource. Typically I am showing locations of public library branches.
Mapping Center Answer:
Through ESRI, there are a few options to get what you are looking for. Which route you choose will ultimately be determined by your map's media (print, web, etc.).
One option is to use the base map services available through ArcGIS Resource Centers. Other than Street Map there are two other map services that could potentially serve as base maps for public library locations: World Topographic Map and DeLorme World base map. You can add these services directly into ArcMap (File > Add Data From ArcGIS Online...) and overlay your library location data.
Another option is to look through the data available on the ESRI Data and Maps DVD and find the data necessary to compile your map. Once you find the right data, you can clip all of it to the extent of California using the Clip Tool.
To get ideas for map design, you can look on the Map Template Gallery website and use either the Topographic Map Template -- Small Scales or the Street Map Template as guides to help you apply symbology and labeling rules to your data. The only thing to understand here is that both of these were designed to be viewed online. So if you use the same design for a print map, you may have to make some modifications.
Finally, within the next few days on Mapping Center we will be posting resources with detailed instructions, data and a Style File for creating a state level print map of Washington Elevation. This will be available on the Other Resources tab. It was the subject of our User Conference presentation The One Minute Cartographer.
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