Designing a Basemap

Table of Contents

  1. Designing a Basemap
  2. Setting Up Your Workspace
  3. Download Data from the DataSF Website
  4. Refreshing a Folder in the Catalog Tree
  5. Changing the Map Projection of the Data Frame
  6. Changing the Map Size and Position
  7. Preparing the Layout
  8. Adjusting Line Weight and Color
  9. Cartographic Typography
  10. Skill Drill: Practicing Cartographic Typography
  11. Skill Drill: Choose a Map Theme
  12. Skill Drill: Finalizing the Poster

Setting Up Your Workspace

In this course, we will be using a particular folder structure. For each lab activity, you will start by creating your workspace folder on the local hard drive. If you are a registered student at Humboldt State University working in a computer lab, you will use the desktop as your local hard drive location. You may also use an external USB drive if you plan to work in multiple places.

Avoid using networked drives such as Google Drive. Networked drives can increase processing time and cause technical glitches.

A workspace is a folder or series of folders that contain all of your project files. The top-level folder in your workspace, also called the project folder should indicate the lab assignment or the project. You will organize all of your work within the project folder.

On your local hard drive, create a new folder and give it a descriptive name, such as “SF_Basemap.” Be sure there are no spaces in the name. You may use underscores instead of spaces. Inside this folder, create the following three subfolders: originalworking, and final.

An image of the workspace structure for SF Basemap
A basic folder structure used in this course.

Having a standardized folder structure helps to keep a project organized, primarily when you are working with multiple partners. At Humboldt State University the folder structure you see here is the standard used in most courses.