I am having a hard time finding a world relief map with "lighter" ocean colors that will actually display as such in Arc.

This is the image I download from the web

This is the image I download from the web

but this is how it displays in ArcGIS.

, but this is how it displays in ArcGIS.

  • 2
    Where did you download the world map? It looks like the map is 50% (?) transparent. Did you check the "symbology" in ArcGIS of the layer? Can you adjust transparency or min/max values?
    – Iris
    Oct 28, 2015 at 12:47
  • You... You're good you. Transparency never even crossed my mind. The map was downloaded from Natural Earth, so I don't think it was different there, but never thought to try to adjust that in Arc. Still doesn't get me back to that color, but much better than I was.
    – twistr25
    Oct 28, 2015 at 12:59

1 Answer 1


I downloaded the Natural Earth II with Shaded Relief and Water- Map.

Imported to ArcGIS it looks like your second map, because ArGIS automtically stretches the color histogram. You can change this by right-click to the layer > Properties > Symbology. If you select Stretch Type: None the oceans are light blue.

You could also play around with Properties > Display: Brightness or Transperancy

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