Having just returned from the ESRI’s User Conference I couldn’t wait to try their new *free* mapmaking service ArcGIS online. Below you will find my first attempt at making a map, aided by the free time afforded by a bout with early morning insomnia and by someone’s prior labor prepping and posting many Africa centric layers to a server.
I suspect that someone is Todd Slind at SpatialDev given the Map Service was posted by slindy23. Thank you Todd (I think) for posting such complete and relevant agriculture data Africa-wide. It was one of the only Africa layers listed, though I imagine with time there will be a much richer library available, especially as people tap in to the power and usability of this medium.
This map is a “map sandwich,” as Bernie Szukalski calls it, where I’ve selected the Terrain Basemap, overlayed my content, then overlayed a reference layer of World Boundaries and Places. I tried to make my content layers transparent enough for the relief to come though. I selected the landcover which I believe comes from GLOBCOVER and farming systems (Reference: Dixon, J., A. Gulliver, D. Gibbon, and M. Hall (ed.), 2001: Farming systems and poverty: Improving farmers’ livelihoods in a changing world. FAO and World Bank, Rome and Washington, D.C., 412 pp. [available online from http://www.fao.org/docrep/003/Y1860E/y1860e00.HTM] )
I configured the pop-ups to show the name of the farming system and made the layer opaque enough you could see the extent of its reach. I clicked Save, Share, then Embed. Nothing fancy, but nevertheless very satisfying.
One critique I have is that this workflow doesn’t bring along the legends with the embeddable map, whereas creating a web app or sharing by other means does bring along the legends. Bernie– something to work on.
Stay tuned– I think there will be more of these to come.