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I have a map that was created by a contractor working for my employer before I began. I am not sure what GIS software the map was created in but it has an effect I would like to be able to reproduce in arcGIS 10.1.

The map seams to have a gradient, buffered layer on the outside of the Australia coastline layer. This layer grades out from dark grey to white. Sitting off the coast in my layout view I have the Australia with the extent area showing.

What I cant get is the gradient layer to gradient out behind the Aus extent part. In the maps I make the Aus is in a separate data frame and I cant make the background of that data frame transparent.

I can't post the maps as I'm a new user but if someone can assist me I can send you directly the maps to explain better what I mean.

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If possible please attach the screen-shot – Sunil Jan 18 '13 at 4:54
This link may help – PolyGeo Jan 18 '13 at 4:59

By the description of it, it looks like a multiple ring buffer that your colleague had created. Gradient can be set once you have the multiple ring buffer layer added to the map. To confirm if I thinking in the right direction, can you have a look at the attached image and confirm is your case looks similar to this one?enter image description here

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Alternatively, you can use Euclidean distance from distance toolbar, the output would be in raster, but you can classify it to any no. of classes or represent it by choosing any gradient in symbology options.

Euclidean distance tool used on road feature data.

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