The introduction of Bing Imagery with the release of ArcGIS 10.0 provided a fantastic means to very quickly produce Site Location Maps. Prior to its' introduction, I was using a GIS server connection to www.geographynetwork.ca_80 for site location maps. I highly preferred using Bing, mostly for aesthetic reasons.

Now that Bing no longer available (without buying a licence), I wondered what others are using as a replacement. I find the options available under the "add basemap" dropdown in ArcMap to be far from appealing. Often, I find the placement of the citation information to be rather inconvenient. The resolution is often very poor as well (such as when using the "Open Street Map" or "Imagery options"). The labels are often fuzzy and hard to read as well.

What are those of you who don't have a Bing subscription using?

Below, Is a picture to demonstrate what I meant by "Site Location Map". In many cases - not always - it is faster and simpler to just use an air photo or satellite image to show where something is. Point to the study area, label a few roads .... done!!

enter image description here

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    Regarding the placement of Citation Information: In ArcMap, go to Insert -> Dynamic Text -> Service Layer Credits. You can now place the text wherever you'd like, and also change the font and such as well. – MLowry Jan 23 '14 at 17:51
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    Some screenshots for illustration/comparison would be useful. What is a site location map? Are you talking about aerial imagery or something else? – blah238 Jan 23 '14 at 17:57
  • @ MLowry - Thank you. I am out of the office and will try your suggestion when I return. – Dano Jan 23 '14 at 20:36
  • @ blah238 - In the simplest terms, it's a map showing "where the site is". Generally, I show part of a community and label a few recognizable traffic arteries (with an inset map as well). I generally label the Study Area with a Star/pointer. It's a recurring "Figure 1 map" my clients require repeatedly for their reports. It only took around 1/2 hr to make this figure with Bing. It's still quick to produce, but I am not pleased with the appearance when using the alternatives (ie - OSM). I can post an example when I'm back in the office if it's still unclear. Let me know. – Dano Jan 23 '14 at 20:39
  • Yes an example would be good. I still am unclear on whether you are talking about aerial imagery, a topographic map, streets map, etc. Also, you can always make your own basemap provided you have the data you want to display. – blah238 Jan 23 '14 at 20:48

I switched to QGIS using the OpenLayers plug-in. The availability of imagery/layers is pretty amazing compared to even when ArcGIS had Bing imagery.

I should note that I have also tried using the Arc2Earth add-in for ArcGIS 10.2 and was not too impressed with the results. They do provide a free trial if you want to give it a go for yourself.

enter image description here

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    What are the Terms of Service for using those commercial services? – blah238 Jan 23 '14 at 17:56
  • Google's Terms of Service: google.com/permissions/geoguidelines.html – Aaron Jan 23 '14 at 18:12
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    @ Aaron - you need to purchase a Google Earth Pro Licence in order to use their imagery in reports or "for profit" – Dano Jan 23 '14 at 20:01
  • Good call @Dano. However, it is a great service for private use. – Aaron Jan 23 '14 at 20:02
  • Yes .... the exact wording is as follows: "We cannot provide high-resolution or vector screen captures of Google Maps. You can, however, use Google Earth Pro to save and print high-resolution views. Images in Google Earth Pro can be exported up to 4,800 pixels wide. You can purchase a Google Earth Pro license on this page." -- Last I checked, a Pro Licence was $400/yr (and that was years ago, so it's likely more expensive now). – Dano Jan 23 '14 at 20:28

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