Time to complete: 3 mins

Defining the project area and its context area is one of the first steps in any planning project. UrbanFootprint makes it easy to generate maps that put your project area in context. 


1. Overview   2. Tutorial   3. Outputs

1. Overview

Goal: Produce a simple map to locate the project area within its context area and the greater region. Learn symbology 101 in UrbanFootprint. 

Data used

  • Project area and context area boundaries

Features used 

2. Tutorial

First, check out the project and context area boundary layers. Every UrbanFootprint project loads with a project area boundary layer, and if you select a context area, a context area boundary as well. Turn off all layers except for the project and context area boundaries. 

Second, edit the symbology of the project area layer. By default, the project area boundary is a line around the project area with a transparent fill, which is the most common way to include it in a map. However, for this map we want to do something different. Select the Project Area layer in the layer list and click EDIT SYMBOLOGY. Set the fill to red. Set the stroke to white and stroke width to 2px. Click SAVE. 

Third, edit the symbology of the context area layer. To see the entire context area on the map, select “Context Area” from the saved views menu (also known as bookmarks) in the toolbar at the top of the map. Then click EDIT SYMBOLOGY. Set the fill to black. Set the stroke to white and stroke width to 4px. Set the opacity to 40%. 

Fourth, export a map. Before exporting, you may wish to change the base map. Once you have selected the one that works best for your purposes, open the map layout window by clicking the EXPORT button on the map. Explore the different options for map output until you find the one that best suits your needs. 

  • Position - no need to set
  • Scale - leave as is 
  • Orientation - Portrait 
  • Page - 900px x 1,600px
  • Image Quality - 300 PPI (default)
  • Include Base Map - keep it checked 
  • Legend placement - No legend 

Click EXPORT to download the map as an image. See our documentation to learn more about map layout and export.

Finally, reset the symbology for the boundary layers. Since the current symbology obscures the project and context areas, you will likely want to reset the layer styling so that you can get to work. This is easy to do: On first the Project Area and the Context Area layers, click EDIT SYMBOLOGY and then click RESTORE DEFAULTS. 

3. Outputs

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