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FAQ: Is it possible to clip a basemap to a specific area in ArcMap?

Question

Is it possible to clip a basemap to a specific area in ArcMap?

Answer

It is possible to clip a basemap to reduce the time it takes ArcMap to draw by utilizing the Clip function in the Data Frame properties to temporarily clip data to shape. However, this only visually clips the basemap to display in the map document without actually altering the underlying data. Refer to the following web help for more information: Clipping the Data Frame.

Note:
The Data Frame Properties window can be used to set the extent and visibility of an online basemap or layer file for printing or exporting within the map document. Online basemaps or layer files are not acceptable inputs for the Clip tool from the Raster Processing toolset.

The example below shows a specific area on a basemap in the map document:
Specific area on a basemap

To clip the basemap to the specific area, follow the steps below:

  1. The Data Frame Properties window can be accessed under the View menu in ArcMap or by right-clicking the data frame within the Table Of Contents.
  2. In the Data Frame Properties dialog box, click the Data Frame tab.
  3. Under Clip Options, select Clip to shape from the drop-down menu. This option allows the specific shape (area) to clip the drawing of a data frame.
    Clip Options
  4. Click Apply and click OK. The basemap are now clipped to the desired specific area.
    Final result of clipping

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