I've started to use Microsoft Expression Blend and SketchFlow to visualize senarios in our line-of-business application prototypes. Right now I use the Sketch Style to do a Rectangle and write a text Map or Layout inside to visualize a Map or a Layout. SketchFlow map sample

Is there any way to get a sketchy looking map without adding dependencys to any ArcGIS APIs. I want it to be light-wight so it's easy to distribute the prototype without getting license problems.

  • Should the sketchy looking map display real data or would a dummy map do?
    – underdark
    Commented Sep 25, 2010 at 14:34
  • A dummy map will do, it's a prototype. But somehow I think it has to be possible to show polyons, poylines and point's etc.. to visualize what the user does with the map... Commented Sep 25, 2010 at 17:40
  • Pen, paper, scanner? Any map, screenshot? How important is it really to make a workflow sketch look good?
    – relet
    Commented Sep 27, 2010 at 8:59
  • @relet That's the plan I have for now, draw something and use the scanner to get an image to insert as an background in the rectangle. I love the scetchy look in SketchFlow it put the focus on the workflow rather then the GUI stuff. But it's important to be able to visualize in this map if the user selects a polygon or if thay in another map only view data. Commented Sep 27, 2010 at 9:19

1 Answer 1


Add this as a reference if someone else want to use SketchFlow.


To illustrate geometries I use, Pen for polylines:

Pen screenshoot

To get a sketchy look I change the Stroke by choosing BaseBorder-Sketch.

SetStroke screenshot BaseBorder-Sketch screenshoot

Rectangle-Sketch to fast draw polygons as rectangles :) otherwise it should be possible to use the Pen tool for this as well:

Rectangle screenshoot

Circle-Sketch for points:

Circle screenshoot

Here I change the background and border to BaseBorder-Sketch to get a filled point.

BaseBorder screenshoot

Resulting in something like this: screenshoot


For icons on toolbars and other image resources I found a note on Import current UI into sketchflow about using Paint.Net to create sketchy looking images.

To do this open an image in Paint.Net and use Effects | Artistic | pencil Sketch...

Paint.Net screenshoot

Then add the images as background in buttons to create a toolbar or just add the image to the screen.

alt text

ArcGIS Silverlight/WPF Web APIs

I've also looked at the possibility's to use the ArcGIS Silverlight/WPF web APIs to do this but it felt like it's a bit complex to easily add concept to a prototype.

But if you want to add some background map. It can be done by adding the Map control that gets integrated in SketchFlow when installing the web-API:

screenshoot map control

Add layers by using the properties:

screenshoot layerscollection

screenshoot layertypes

screenshoot layers

It's also possible to add a GraphicsLayer to add a Polyline using the XAML editor:

screenshoot AXML editing

Well that my findings so far...

  • Thank you for sharing your results Mathias. I'm sure people will find it useful. I didn't know about Sketchflow and will be checking it out. I think the level of detail is too fine and the number of images too many though. This kind of step by step tutorial is better posted on your own blog and then referenced from here in summary. Long detailed answers tend to curtail contributions from other people, the page simply gets too long. Commented Oct 26, 2010 at 21:07
  • It was intended for my blog but when I didn't get around to writing the blog post, so I wrote this from the top of my mind so I wouldn't forget. Commented Oct 27, 2010 at 5:46
  • I now wonder whether I was expressing just my own personal view, rather than a general community guideline. Please see meta.gis.stackexchange.com/questions/195/… Commented Oct 27, 2010 at 19:10

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