What is mapping, charting, and visualization?

Mapping, charting, and visualization are three components of production mapping. Production mapping refers to a repeatable and automated process of producing maps and charts of GIS data.

Production Mapping

Production mapping focuses on standardizing and streamlining the four main workflows of GIS production: data capture, editing, review, and cartographic output. Mapping, charting, and visualization tools focus on providing standardized methods for users to create and maintain cartographic outputs from a GIS.


ESRI Production Mapping cartography tools allow you to define templates for mapping tasks. Templates are reused in different geographic areas or used to maintain and update existing maps or charts.


Mapping and charting tools support enterprise cartographic production workflows. These workflows generate numerous cartographic products. Groups of users maintain the cartographic products. Typically, maps and charts in these products have a high degree of detail and a standardized look and feel. Products are maintained over time and require updates to their content as their geographic areas change.

Cartographic output workflows can be subdivided into smaller workflows and tasks. ESRI Production Mapping has tools to support the following workflows.


What is the purpose of the map? What geographic area will it cover? What scale, projection, and data will be used? ESRI Production Mapping helps automate and store these settings to ensure consistency and integrity of the products.

Cartographic data

Database-driven cartography allows the automation of maps and charts based on the information stored with the GIS. A suite of tools extend traditional GIS data with features and required attributes and enhance cartographic workflow.


Symbology workflows link feature attributes (data dictionary) to symbols and maintain that rule base inside a geodatabase. Shared map templates and groups of layer files ensure that your team produces standardized products.

Cartographic editing

Interactive and automated tools support cartographic editing of GIS data and map production workflows.


ESRI Production Mapping provides an enhanced environment where the page layout can be managed and manipulated more effectively. Additional surround elements extend the type of information that can be displayed in a page layout.


Maps and charts can be printed, exported, and archived in standard formats. This includes the ability to support color separation options.

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