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Satellite Image Maps. The Union of ……. Annotation, Art and Science. Jeff Bennett, AKRO GIS Team National Park Service. Satellite Image Map Project. Collaboration between AKRO I&M Landcover Mapping Program and GIS Team Vision of the map series - Wall art quality products

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Satellite Image Maps

The Union of …….Annotation, Art and Science

Jeff Bennett, AKRO GIS Team

National Park Service

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Satellite Image Map Project

  • Collaboration between AKRO I&M Landcover Mapping Program and GIS Team

  • Vision of the map series

    - Wall art quality products

    - Park wide image mosaic

    - Park wide annotation GDB

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Satellite Image Map Project

  • Particularly important in Alaska due to lack of current base cartographic data

  • Primarily use TM7 Imagery

  • Maps have been completed for 7 of 16 Alaska NPS units

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Permanent Data Set




Draft Mosaic,

Image Patches

Area of








Source Data

Image Map






Image Defects





Software and Workflow

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  • Process raw imagery

  • Color balance images

  • Project images to Alaska Albers NAD83

  • Build initial mosaic

  • Use AOI tool to patch areas of

    • Clouds

    • Snow

    • Bad data

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ArcMap is Functional Core

  • Cartographic Tools

  • Annotation development

  • Base data

  • Imagery

    • Export areas for editing in Photoshop

    • Georeference edited image patches

  • Generate products

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ArcMap Tiff Export Process

  • Maintain native cell size

  • Maintain projection

  • Export multiple raster’s to single Tiff

  • Editable in Photoshop

  • Can be import back into ArcMap

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ArcMap Tiff Export Process

  • Issues Encountered

    • ArcMap doesn’t allow user to directly define export cell size

    • User can define Absolute Scale

    • User can define DPI of output

    • Imagery cell size in meters

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ArcMap Tiff Export

  • Meters vs DPI Solution

    0.0254 Meters per Inch

  • Basic Formula

    DPI = .0254 * x

    Absolute Scale = Cell size in Meters * x

    x = 500 or 1000 or 2000 etc.

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ArcMap Tiff Export

  • Source imagery cells must be orthogonal to projection (Alaska Albers Equal Area NAD83)

    • Raw UTM imagery cells are orthogonal to path

  • If exporting from Data Frame View must not write “World File or Geo Tiff Tags”

  • More control of export area from Layout Frame

  • Exporting from Layout Frame, Data Frame border must be set to “None”

  • Creating View Bookmark for georeferencing patch

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The Art of Terra Forming(Editing Tiffs in Photoshop)

  • The goal is natural looking imagery

    • Must understand natural processes and honor them while editing

  • The power of cloning, use it wisely

    • Visibility of cloning artifacts is scale related

    • Strait lines are not natural; scene edges

    • Organic is the Mantra

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Editing Tiff’s in Photoshop

  • Mosaic Issues and Imagery Defects

    • Scene edges

    • Areas of high clouds

    • Orphan cloud shadows

    • Sediment plumes in water

    • Data dropouts and errors

    • Seasonal variation; snow, vegetation

    • No data areas; ocean

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Shadow Mismatch


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Truncated Sediment Plumes

Scene Edge

No Data Area

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ArcMap Tiff Patch Import

  • Add Tiff Patch to ArcMap

  • Add Georeferencing Toolbar

    • Must Georeference to Source Image

    • Zoom the saved Bookmark

    • Set Layer to Tiff Patch file

    • Fit to Display

    • Add Control Points to opposite corners

    • Choose one corner and refine Control Point to a 1:1 scale using the intersection of 4 pixels

      • May need to force redraw a scale nears 1:1

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ArcMap Tiff Patch Import

  • Geoferencing Continued

    • Open Link Table and delete coarser Control Point as you refine location

    • Refine Control Point for other corner with same process

    • Add and refine Control Points for remaining corners

    • Verify fit by checking pixel intersections

    • Rectify Tiff Patch

  • Repeat process for additional patches and final flattened mosaic

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Patch Size:

Alaska Albers NAD83

28.5m cell size



75 x 56 Kilometers

Accuracy Assessment

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Final Cartographic Details

  • Mosaic with patches

  • Add Hillshaded DEM

    • Adds detail to snow areas

    • Smooths image

    • Invert Hillshade Color Ramp

    • 92 % transparency

  • Annotation optimized for imagery

    • Matches current geography; Rivers, Glaciers

    • Contrasting color scheme, halos if needed

  • Buffer park boundary

    • Create ramped transparency

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Final Products

  • PDF of final map

    • Select “Clip Output to Graphic Extents”

    • 300pdi

  • Base Annotation GDB

    • Normalized Image Map Anno for general cartographic use

  • Mosaic Geo Tiff

  • Image Map Annotation GDB