Geographic Information Systems Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for cartographers, geographers and GIS professionals. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I'd like to have anyone's feedback on this draft map I created. Tried to make the private ownership white but since it's RGB is not near to 255.

I've seen someone created this map similiar to it and leaves it as light grey color.

Gray Image

I am using ArcMap 9.3.1. I have Photoshop 7 on my computer but no training background on it. Have use couple of times in the past not related to GIS.

share|improve this question
up vote 1 down vote accepted

Though you don't say so, I will assume that:

  • you are using rgb composite so that you can assign your own colors to specific values
  • this is a raster image.

You could try using a stretched color ramp as in attached image.

Color ramps

The red arrow points to one commonly called USGS elevation

share|improve this answer

Check to see if there is any transparency active on the layer:

enter image description here

If this is set to 0% the layer should be opaque and not show the DTM. However, if you want to show the terrain and a white layer it is not possible to make it consistently white.

share|improve this answer

Looks like your land ownership is somewhat transparent and draped over the hillshade. Unfortunately ESRI does not support "gradual transparency". (i just made that term up) Even if you set the "White" color to of the White-Black color ramp to "No color" it will default to white and only those areas that evaluate to white in the hillshade raster will be solid white. THe rest of the colors in the ramp will be various shades of gray. Not varying levels of transparent black which is what it should be. (A true "No Color -> Black" color ramp of the hillshade overlaid over top or the other land features would make the colors appear true and rich yet it would still correctly show the 3D effect)

Here is a few ideas:

You could try applying transparency to the hillshade and place it over top of the features instead although this will likely not be satisfactory as well.

You could separate the hillshade into several parts by the ownership type. You could clip just the "white land ownership" areas out of the hillshade raster and adjust standard deviation of the white hillshade so as to reduce the amout of gray. The shadows will appear more harsh but it might look ok.

You could export the map to Photoshop or any other image editor and select the "White ownership area" and make them brighter or adjust the curves, shadows, etc.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.