I have generated a map with layers for contour lines, roads, trails, rivers, lakes, etc. What I would like to do is print to PDF (AI or other) a page/map for each contour level. Ex: one for 1900m with the features that lie on that contour, one for 2000m with those features and so forth. Think of it like a flip book where each page goes up 100m and shows the associated features. Here is an example of the first and second contours and the information present on them.

First Map/Export, showing the information on the lowest contour level (base level)

Second Map/Export, showing the information on the second level.

Currently I am printing to SVG format and then manually separating everything in Adobe Illustrator... but there has to be a better way!

I have access to ArcGIS Pro, although am more skilled in QGIS.

  • Have you seen this thread? gis.stackexchange.com/questions/78837/…
    – John
    Jul 25, 2018 at 14:09
  • This thread is for ArcMap but the Pro map series could be similarly done. gis.stackexchange.com/questions/87683/…
    – John
    Jul 25, 2018 at 14:12
  • Welcome to GIS SE! As a new user be sure to take the Tour to learn about our focussed Q&A format. Try not to ask questions that seek answers for any of multiple GIS products (in your case QGIS and ArcGIS Pro) so that it and its answers can be focussed on what you have tried and where you are stuck using a particular product. It is always fine to ask the same or a similar question using another of the products in a separate question..
    – PolyGeo
    Jul 25, 2018 at 21:56

2 Answers 2


Obtain a polygon-layer with your heigth data and categorize it with 100 m steps. Everything is displayed as white, except for the current layer/height of interest, which is transparent. Put it as the topmost layer in your layerwindow and have fun printing away.

Can also be done with raster data (pseudo colours). Classes may need some fitting.

Basically you build a flexible mask this way. You can also "hardcast" your masks by exporting everything but a specific range of heights to a new file.

  • Wow - this. This is a great idea. I wrote a tool to do this workflow awhile back: create polys between contour lines, clip out items in that poly, export, and repeat. This idea of simply using a polygon as a mask to hide elements outside the contour level is fantastic and would have been magnitudes faster.
    – KHibma
    Jul 25, 2018 at 15:18

With ArcGIS your best bet is to use Data Driven Pages. You set which field you want the maps to use, then have maps created for each value in that field. You can also set other queries on other layers that match your field used in Data Driven Pages. When you export, it will create maps for each value

  • 1
    For ArcGIS Pro the functionality you describe is called Map Series. Data Driven Pages only applies to ArcMap.
    – PolyGeo
    Jul 25, 2018 at 20:32

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