Aileen Buckley, at the ESRI Mapping Center, has released a new tutorial on creating what she calls “sun glints”. These are the reflective glows you sometimes see on water bodies in aerial photographs. In essence, it’s a tutorial on creating gradient fills in ArcMap – a neat effect that cartographers don’t get to use very often.
The tutorial also includes instructions for randomizing the direction of the glints using Python. While her scientific explanation for this is sound, I’m not sure it’s really necessary. Personally, I wouldn’t use this effect to make a map more realistic, I’d use it to make a map look cool. Regardless, it’s a useful tutorial on a basic application of Python scripting.
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