I don't know much about GIS, but I want to create some maps that show a particular thing.

Specifically, I have a shapefile with several hundred points and I want to create a standard sized buffer around each point (for example, 5km in radius). Secondly it is very important that the buffers for all points are the same color, but vary in intensity, with some being very light and some being very dark. The intensity will depend on a certain attribute of the points.

So my first question is, is it possible to shade the buffers on a continuous gradient, or do I have to use classes?

For example, if the attribute for the points is on a scale from 0 to 1,000, do I have to divide that into classes?

Or can the shading just key directly on the value of the attribute?

Here's my second question: many of the buffers will be overlapping and it is very important that if they overlap that they appear even darker in the overlapping area.

Is that possible?

To be clear, I'm not trying to do any analysis with this job. I just want visualizations.

Alternatively, if that is too difficult, I was thinking of creating a heat map (instead of a map with fixed ring buffers of varying intensity). But in order for the heat map to represent that particular attribute of each point, I would have to multiply the number of points, based on the value of the attribute. For example, if the attribute value for a point was 100, I would want to make 99 more points in that same location. In that way, the number of points at each location would represent the attribute value of each point in the original set of points. Then a heat map would show the density of the points.

But is it difficult to create a script that multiplies points based on an attribute value?

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  • Count number of intersects and use single color. – FelixIP Feb 22 '18 at 19:32
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    Even when you tagged your question with "arcgis-desktop": is it an option to use QGIS? In your concrete case, using QGIS would have two advantages: nearly all visualization options (including color/saturation) can be set using a simple or more complex expression based on attributes. Additionally, QGIS allows transparency settings using different blending modes. I have to admit I don't know newest ArcMap 10.5 and ArcGIS Pro, but up to ArcMap 10.4 I'm pretty sure that you do not have the described opportunities. – Mesa Feb 22 '18 at 20:53