Style map layers

Maps help you gain a better understanding of data by presenting significant information geographically. ArcGIS for Microsoft 365 includes style tools that allow you to choose which information to emphasize and how to present that information in a variety of compelling ways. This feature not only improves the visual appeal of the map but helps to effectively communicate the nature and significance of the data.

Each of your style decisions can make your map easier to understand and more interesting to an audience. However, mapmaking is flexible; you can make many equally valid decisions in the absence of a single best style option.

Changing the map style helps you to tell different stories with the same data and potentially discover hidden patterns. For example, in the following image, population density could be visualized as a sequence of colors, such as from light to dark (as shown), or as graduated circles, such as from small to large, to indicate the range of less populated regions to areas with higher populations.

Population map
Visit the U.S. Census Bureau 2020 Demographic Data Map Viewer for more information about this map.

Use the ArcGIS for Microsoft 365 style tools to highlight specific data characteristics, show how the data evolves over time, compare and contrast different values, cluster large groups of data for manageability, or combine multiple style tools to create a spatial context for your data that is unique.

Once you decide how to present the data—for example, whether to use circles or colors to represent population density—you can make subsequent style and design choices. ArcGIS for Microsoft 365 includes graphic configuration tools—such as color ramps, line weights, and symbols—that help you configure how the data appears on a map.

  1. Start by following your component's Apply a style workflow.
  2. Next, choose the correct symbol type (also known as smart mapping) based on your selected data attributes and feature geometry.

    Explore the questions and examples in the Symbol types topic to determine the best style for your data.

  3. Change the style settings to customize and personalize the applied style.

Related topics

The following table lists the workflows related to styling data for your component:

ArcGIS for ExcelArcGIS for Power BIArcGIS for SharePoint

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