Maps can feature graphic elements, neatlines, pictures, and objects in addition to geographic data, scale bars, and other typical map elements.
Graphics can be used to do the following:
- Ornament a map.
- Group related parts of a map together.
- Identify a map with an organization.
- Emphasize a part of the map.
You can use graphic rectangles (neatlines) to frame a group of other map elements. If you want to frame an individual map element, right-click it, click Properties, then click the Frame tab. You can use this method to choose borders and backgrounds for legends, north arrows, data frames, scale bars, and scale text.
Maps can have pictures, or graphic images, in addition to the geographic data on the map. You might add a graphic image of your company's logo to indicate the source of a map or add a nation's flag to a map to indicate its subject. You can also ornament a map by placing representative images of places, people, or objects found in an area on a map. The formats you can insert include JPEG, GIF, TIFF, EMF, BMP, PNG, and JPEG 2000.
You have the option to save the picture as part of the map document. To do this, double-click the picture and click the Save Image as Part of Document check box. This is unavailable if the picture was pasted into the map instead of being inserted using the Insert > Picture command. It is also unavailable if the source for the picture can't be found.
If you choose not to save the picture in the document, ArcMap references the picture on disk. This means that if the picture's disk location is changed, or if the map is moved to a new disk location from which ArcMap cannot access the picture, the picture is unavailable, and you'll get a message about this whenever you open the map or access the properties of the picture.
By default, ArcMap does not save the image with the map document.
If you are using Data Driven Pages you can make your picture element dynamic and have it update for each page. To do this, double-click the picture and go to the Picture tab. There are two options from which you can choose from: Simple path from Data Driven Pages and Attachment from Data Driven Pages.
Simple path from Data Driven Pages allows you to choose a field from the Data Driven Pages index layer that contains either a path or URL that references the image you want to use for each page. You can also reference a raster field as well.
Attachment from Data Driven Pages allows you to reference images that you have as attachments on index layer features. In cases where you have more than one attachment for a feature you should use the Name filter. For example, you can filer on the file type (.png) or on a portion of text in the name (PictureInsert).
Learn more about Data Driven Pages and using the arcpy the PictureElement class.
You can easily add data of almost any type to your map as an object and edit the data using the application to which it belongs. For example, suppose you have a Microsoft PowerPoint slide you want to add to a map. You could select the elements on the slide, copy them, then paste them into the map; however, using this method, you wouldn't be able to edit the pasted slide because it would no longer be in PowerPoint format. By inserting the slide as an object instead, you can add it to your map and simply double-click it to make changes to it using PowerPoint.
When you insert an object, you can either create a new, empty object or insert an existing file. The option you choose depends on the type of object you want to insert. In the case of inserting a PowerPoint slide, you can insert an existing presentation file as an object, but only the first slide in the presentation is visible on your map. Alternatively, you can insert a new PowerPoint slide, double-click it to edit it in PowerPoint, then paste all the elements of your existing slide into this slide.