Up until now the maps you have worked with have fundamentally been portrayals of geographic data. However, if you look at any map that is produced commercially or by government sources, you will notice that the spatial data reside in a context of other text and graphics. For example, you will probably find a title of the map, an arrow indicating the north direction, a legend showing the scale, and so on. Also, a single map sheet might consist of several maps at different scales or maps showing different data from the same geographic area. While you can print a map directly from the sort of ArcGIS view you have been working with, ArcMap has capabilities that let you produce a map with the additional elements that form sophisticated cartographic products.
While the thrust of this book is to lay groundwork so that you can use GIS to do geographic data analysis, synthesis, and modeling, I would be less than candid if I didn’t let you know that the most popular use of GIS currently is to display, in map format, geographic information. This chapter gives you the beginnings of how that is done. Of course, when you do use GIS to do analysis, you will need to display the results, so what follows is essential. Before we launch into how this works you need to know some terminology: