English

How To: Use the ArcMap Buffer Wizard to create cartographic vignettes

Summary

Instructions provided describe how to use the ArcMap Buffer Wizard to create cartographic vignettes.

A cartographic vignette is a graphical device used to accentuate a feature; for example, a coastline or island. A vignette consists of a series of bands, each brighter than the next, emanating from a feature.

Instructions provided describe how to use the ArcMap Buffer Wizard to create cartographic vignettes, keeping in mind that the default setup is not ideal for this purpose. In most cases, before creating buffers to be used as vignettes, the Buffer processing coordinate system should be changed to this setting: Select Coordinate System of the data frame (output).

While the default processing coordinate system maximizes the accuracy of the buffers, buffers created with this setup will in many cases be distorted. Avoid this because cartographic vignettes typically have a constant width, or no distortion.

When creating vignettes, base the decision on whether or not to change the buffer setup beforehand on (a) the map's coordinate and (b) the map scale. For example, if the map's coordinate system is Geographic and the coastline of North America is buffered with the default setup, the generated buffers will be quite distorted toward the North and South Poles. Remedy this by changing the Buffer processing coordinate system setting before buffering.

Procedure

To create cartographic vignettes:

  1. Close ArcMap and start the ArcMap Advanced Settings utility.

    A. Navigate to the Utilities folder under the ArcGIS installation directory; for example, C:\arcgis\arcexe81\Utilities.

    B. Double-click AdvancedArcMapSettings.exe.



  2. Click the Miscellaneous tab.
  3. From the Buffer processing coordinate system dropdown list, select the Select Coordinate System of the data frame (output) option.
  4. Open the map document.
  5. Open the Buffer Wizard.
  6. Select the layer to buffer to create the vignettes.
  7. Click Next.
  8. Select the option to Create the buffers as multiple buffer rings.
  9. Select the number of rings as well as an appropriate distance between rings. Click Next.
  10. Select the option to Dissolve Buffers.
  11. If applicable, select an appropriate polygon buffering option.
  12. Select a target graphic or feature layer for the buffer output. Click Finish.

    Click here to see an example of a vignette.
    [O-Image] Vignette Example