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ESRI Lunch Specials: Scale bars for people who will use the map while walking
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In the lower left corner of the map, two scale bars are shown, one in feet and one in meters.
In the lower left corner of the map, two scale bars are shown, one in feet and one in meters.

What: The design of the scale bars on this map is a good example of those designed for distance measurement when walking. Why: They can be used by placing a thumb or finger on the bar to get a rough approximation of distance on the map. Since the ESRI International Users Conference attended by an international audience from more than one hundred countries, so we knew that scales for both feet and meters would be needed. The distance intervals were selected so they would be easy to multiply over distances on the map.

The scale bars were designed with simplicity in mind; they should not be visually prominent, yet their placement should be sufficiently isolated so as to be easy to find. How: To create these scale bars, we used Scale Line 3 from the and edited its properties as follows:

  • We set the units to feet, and specified two divisions with four subdivisions.
  • We used a custom label of “ft.” or “m.” and entered and a gap of 2.4 points.
  • On the Numbers and Marks tab, we set the position of the labels and of the marks to “Above bar.”
  • We set the text color was set to 50% gray, which was slightly lighter and therefore a little less prominent than the street labels, which were 60% gray.
  • We reduced the line weight from the default of 1.0 points to 0.5 points.

Based on the left edge of the map, we left-aligned the scale bars and north arrow. The result was a right edge that roughly echoed the shape of the marina.

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