Selecting Base Map Options
Choose the right base map for your map.
Base maps sit beneath your mapped data layers. UrbanFootprint offers twelve base map options to suit different uses and styles. This article provides an overview of the base map options and features -- including labels, elevation contours, and 3D buildings -- that you can use in creating your maps.

How to Select a Base Map and Features

To change the base map for your project:
1. Click the Base Map control in the lower right corner of the map view. The Base Map Selection window appears.
2. Select a new base map option. The map will update automatically as you select options, so you can browse the different styles. See the base map options section for examples of each.
3. Use the basemap feature checkboxes to select features to include. Options include elevation contours, 3D buildings, city labels, place labels, points of interest labels, roads and rail labels, and water labels. The depiction of features may vary at different map zoom levels. See the base map features overview for more about the options.
4. Click outside the map dialog to close the selection window. Your selection will be saved.

Base Map Options

The base maps are served as Mapbox vector and raster tiles, with sources as indicated in the map view and map exports. Examples of the base map options are shown below.







Satellite Faded

Minimal Land Light

Minimal Land Dark



Blank (with the Base Canvas layer visible)

Base Map Features Overview

Base map features are map overlays that add context to your project. Unlike layers, map features are simply visual elements; they cannot be inspected, they have no metadata, and they cannot be styled.

Elevation Contours

Elevation contour lines depict elevation by joining points of equal elevation. The contour interval (distance between elevation lines) depends on the zoom level being used. These distances range from 10 meters to 500 meters. Elevation contours are only available as metric measurements.

3D Buildings

The 3D building depictions are based on building footprints and height as reported to OpenStreetMap. With over 13 million 3D buildings, coverage of this feature set is largely within major metropolitan areas. 3D buildings are only rendered at high zoom levels. The buildings appear as 3D when in 3D map mode.

Map Labels

Map labels are available to add local and regional context to your map. Options include:
  • City Labels. Census-designated cities
  • Place Labels. Common neighborhood, district, or borough names
  • Points of Interest Labels. Parks, museums, colleges, civic buildings, landmarks, and other points of interest
  • Roads and Rail Labels. Names or designations for major and arterial streets, highways, and freeways
  • Water Labels. Lakes, Rivers, Streams and Ocean labels
Labels can be turned on or off, but not edited or exported. The inclusion of labels varies at different zoom levels. While labels cannot be styled by users, their native styles are varied to complement the different base map options.

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