What is cartographic context?
Cartographic context defines the settings in which a map is created and viewed. It answers these questions:
- Who is the audience for this cartographic product?
- What geographic extent or area will be displayed?
- What coordinate system and scale should be used?
- What data should be used to make the map?
Once these decisions have been made, they need to be standardized within production environments. ArcGIS defines, configures, and stores most contextual settings in map documents. Although map documents are easy to configure, production environments require more systematic management of contextual settings.
Production Mapping has several tools and processes that manage cartographic context:
- The product library manages map documents and other product information. It provides specialized functionality to work with Data Driven Pages map documents. Using the product library, you can define template map documents with dynamic template instructions.
- Data frame rules allow you to configure and store a series of data frame settings (scale, extent, size, rotation, and coordinate system) that you can share with others.
- MPS-Atlas is an alternative map book or atlas option to Data Driven Pages. With MPS-Atlas, a single map document can store and allow viewing of a number of geographic extents. However, the product library and Data Driven Pages are the recommended solutions for new projects.