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Layer File Real Time Updates

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#1
mchattha

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Hi there,

So hopefully someone can help me out...my company is looking for a way to make our lives a little easier...we would like to be able to use something like a layerfile (or template) but if it is updated/changed in one file to have those changes associated with any other project file that contains the same layerfile...does anyone have any suggestions as to what is out there and not too expensive???

Also looking for ways to create labels easily...suggestions?? (tried Maplex...not a big fan...we use too many labels and positioning each one at a different location can get pretty tedious and time consuming)

Thanks :)

#2
François Goulet

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I think we need a little more details...

What software do you use? Mentionning the Layer File, I thought ArcGIS, but they could be use by other software...

What do you want to update specifically? The symbology? You meant that if you change, for example, the width of a line in a map, the same feature will be modified as well in your other maps? Is this something that could be done with a MapBook? You change your symbology in the TOC, all the maps will change as well... If it's the attributes, you could always have a external database like a MySQL database? If you change your values, when you open your maps, the symbology will update automatically.

For the labels, there's MapText, but it's quite expensive and it didn't work a bit when we tried it (it was for an thematic atlas).

#3
mchattha

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Sorry my apologies for the lack of info (still new to the forum stuff)
So we use ArcMap 9.3
and yes by layerfile I mean when you save it as a specific symbology is there a way to have it update automatically?

EXAMPLE:
Let's say you have a layerfile called "Cities" and you have the symbology set to show specific cities with a specific linetype, colour, shape, etc.

Now let's say you have that same "Cities" file used in 3 or 4 mxds (using the layerfile which saves the symbology you originally saved it as) and you decide 'oh I need to update or change something in my symbology for that file.

Instead of changing it in all 3-4 mxds is there a way to change it in one and for it to automatically change it in the others without having to go in them?? Kind of like when you edit a shapefile once it's edited it shows up on all mxds not just the one (which is what the layerfile does)

I hope that makes sense :s

Thanks


I think we need a little more details...

What software do you use? Mentionning the Layer File, I thought ArcGIS, but they could be use by other software...

What do you want to update specifically? The symbology? You meant that if you change, for example, the width of a line in a map, the same feature will be modified as well in your other maps? Is this something that could be done with a MapBook? You change your symbology in the TOC, all the maps will change as well... If it's the attributes, you could always have a external database like a MySQL database? If you change your values, when you open your maps, the symbology will update automatically.

For the labels, there's MapText, but it's quite expensive and it didn't work a bit when we tried it (it was for an thematic atlas).



#4
mchattha

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We tried the MapText too...the trial version...not a big fan of that either...not that user friendly...thanks though

#5
Matthew Hampton

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we would like to be able to use something like a layerfile (or template) but if it is updated/changed in one file to have those changes associated with any other project file that contains the same layerfile...does anyone have any suggestions as to what is out there and not too expensive???


Wouldn't that be great!

I have been hoping for the same thing and posted a question to ESRI's Ask a Cartographer last month, but I haven't heard of a solution yet. If you figure one out - please post it!

BTW: I use Maplex quite a bit and after a bit of wrestling - have come to like it strengths. It's not 100% perfect but it gets you close to 80% optimal placements (my unscientific observations).

co-cartographic creator of boringmaps.com


#6
rudy

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I would think that Maplex would cover off 90% of your text placement automatically, provided you've got your rules database set up properly. I don't understand why you wouldn't be using it - too much trouble?

#7
ELeFevre

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Labeling:

Are you using feature-linked annotations? How often do you update your data? IMO Maplex does a good job. You just have to keep your expectations in-check. If you're looking for precision then your going to have to make some manual adjustments, which isnt a bad thing. Use feature linked annoations and you'll save that work.



#8
frax

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You could have layers served out of an ArcIMS (or ArcServer) solution.
Hugo Ahlenius
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#9
mchattha

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We have Maplex but due to the amount of labeling we do at times it doesn't seem to work the way we want it to. Plus the feature linked annotation portion of it is not active for us (I think we need ArcEditor or something equivalent to get that feature to work in Maplex...like I mentioned before we're a really small company). We have ArcMap and that's about it. Unless if you don't need another extension to get the Feature Linked Annotation to work...still new to Maplex as well. As for making sure the rules database set up, more info please...

Thanks Again everyone :)

#10
mrishi

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Labeling:

I think there are 2 different MapText products being talked about.

The product "mchattha" trialed is a new product called GeoLabel Pro that MapText is launching for ArcGIS. It has a very friendly GUI - with 2 modes of labeling dynamic (which creates feature linked anno - but is not editable) and then static for fixed scale / extent which is annotation graphic that can be edited. The text generated is not feature-linked but MapText uses some of its own linking method to retain link between feature and text. The product has gotten great feedback from different markets. So anyone who wants to try it out - contact the MapText sales team from their website. It offers significantly higher automated placement as compared to any solution available in the market for ArcGIS and is also significantly faster. It offers full conflict resolution with configurable placement rules including automatic leadering. This product is also priced very affordably - significantly lower than the Label-EZ (which many of you might associate with MapText as being expensive)

The other product is Label-EZ which is more suited for high cartographic placement is much more sophisticated and would be useful for very high density maps, large volume mapping. It has a high degree of configurability and offers batch mode labeling - with all of that also comes the complexity in the use of the product - especially when you compare it to the GeoLabel Pro product. But that has also found large adoptions in use with ArcGIS.

I would recommend all of you who might have looked in the past at Label-EZ to take a look at the GeoLabel Pro product - you will be positively surprised and amazed at what all it offers for its price.




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