Why We Love It

The world is large and maps are small. Cartography is a process of knowing what is essential and what is not. We love how this map uses a muted dark basemap to showcase information that’s pertinent to cyclists. We can clearly see the locations of bike paths and parking, plus light rail transit stops and lines to coordinate cycling/rail combo trips. This map tells an integrated story relevant to cyclists and commuters.

Why It Works

At a glance we can see both the locations and amount of bike parking in downtown Portland. This makes it easy to judge the likelihood of finding parking once you get there. Even better, the scale of the map makes it possible to tell which side of the street to go to. The colors, sizes, line weights, and opacity amounts help focus our attention on the most important aspects of the map; meanwhile supporting information is offered beneath.

Important Steps

Sort the order of your layers so things like rail stations sit above the rail lines and not below.

Make the fill of the proportional circles 50% transparent but keep the stroke solid to see lots of overlapping symbols clearly.

For scaling the blue circles we used the Counts and Amounts (Size) styling option for the bike parking layer.



Proportional symbols require numeric data such as bike parking spots, income, or unemployment rates. Those numbers can be attached to points, or to areas such as provinces or countries.


Data is ready to map. Just choose cartography that handles overlapping points well.


It will take only about 20 minutes to make the entire map, start to finish, including 10 seconds for proportional symbols.


In both ArcGIS Online and ArcGIS Pro it is very easy to make unclassed size maps where the symbols vary smoothly from low values to high values.


See the blog post for simple instructions or review the Change Style - Size help documentation.

Map Author

Allan LaFramboise

Allan LaFramboise

@AL_Laframboise | LinkedIn

Geo Developer at Esri, Canuck, husband, mountain biker, dog owner, supporter of all things good.

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