Mapping Earthquakes in Northern California

Table of Contents

  1. Mapping Earthquakes in Northern California
  2. Setting Up Your Workspace
  3. Downloading Data from Natural Earth
  4. Download Data from the Northern California Earthquake Data Center (NCEDC)
  5. Skill Drill: Download Data from the United States Census Bureau
  6. Adding California as a Basemap Layer
  7. Skill Drill: Adding the Humboldt County Boundary as a Basemap Layer
  8. Adding XY Data
  9. Changing the Map Projection of the Data Frame
  10. Representing Earthquake Magnitude Using Graduated Symbols
  11. Changing the Map Size and Position
  12. Creating an Inset Map
  13. Inserting A Map Title
  14. Inserting a Map Legend
  15. Inserting a North Arrow, Scale Bar, and Acknowledgments
  16. Exporting your map as a PDF file

Exporting your map as a PDF file

Though it took a lot of work to get to this point, the map is still relatively simple. There are many additional options to choose from regarding styles and colors. Try to improve the look and feel of your map. You may want to experiment with moving the map elements to different positions.

An image of the California Earthquake Map
In this image, additional labels were added for the background States and for the Pacific Ocean. Click to view a larger sized image.

Add additional labels for the various states, Humboldt County, and the Pacific Ocean. When done, you will need to export your map to a file format that can be seen and used by others.

From the main menu, select File, then Export Map. When the Export Map window opens, navigate to your Final folder. Name the file “California Earthquakes 2017.” Next to Save as type, choose PDF from the drop-down menu. Always make sure the resolution is at least 300 dpi. Sometimes ArcMap will try to export at a lower resolution.

An image of the Export map options
Click to view a larger sized image.

In courses at Humboldt State University, your instructors will mark you down for submitting a map with a low resolution.

When you are ready, click Save. Then, in Microsoft Windows, open your Final folder and check to make sure the PDF file is there. Registered students may need to submit the PDF file in Canvas to receive credit for this activity.

An image of the Final folder for earthquake map
Click to view a larger sized image.