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#1
anniec

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Hello everyone,

I am currently in the process of creating a map book for our county. I am doing a lot of hand labeling in ArcGIS and I have a few questions about labeling streets. There are some which are very short with long names, which make labeling difficult in a lot of areas. I am reducing the font size where I can.

I was just wondering how you tackle the issue of placing your labels. For this project, I have been experimenting with placing the labels on the street, instead of above or below it. This creates issues in some areas, especially the short streets with long names. I was thinking of either leaving off the labels for the short streets, or making an inset where possible.

I guess my main question is how do you guys deal with labeling small features, and for the streets do you prefer to label them on or above the line?

Thanks,
Annie

#2
ceicher

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Hello Annie

Perhaps you've thought of these strategies for labeling short streets... but you could also try:

a) abbreviations

First try abbreviating prefixes/suffixes... so North --> N. (or even just N), Boulevard (with all the short boulevards which I'm sure that you have... ) --> Blvd. , etc.

If that's not enough, take more extreme measures and abbreviate the "main" part of the name. Green River Parkway... Gr Riv Pkwy...

B) leader lines - lets you place name farther from the street

c) a label index - numbers on the map refer to a table of number-name pairs. fit this table into some unused map space.

Good luck,

-Cory

#3
Matthew Hampton

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Hi Annie,

I would concur with the placement options that Cory listed. With respect to placing labeling on or above the line – I think this depends a little on your scale and graphical treatment of the streets (in addition to the overall "look" your are trying to achieve). If your linework is represented by a single line or the map is medium to small scale then I would suggest placing them above the line features. If however you are working at larger scales and your streets are thicker, perhaps with a dark casing or curbing – and you can nest the labels completely inside the street representation then I typically prefer to place labels on the line.

In then end, I think you should do what looks good to you and your stakeholders. Perhaps you could post a few samples and elicit more comments/opinions.

co-cartographic creator of boringmaps.com


#4
MapMedia

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If you are making a map book, what program are you using? If you have Maplex you have many options to address long names (abbreviate, etc.). Plus you can automate the labeling and map book production.

#5
anniec

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Thank you all for your suggestions. I am currently working in ArcGIS 9.3 with the DS Mapbook extension. The book will be regular letter sized paper, and my scale is about 1:34000 for each page. We actually do have the Maplex extension, so I will give that a try this afternoon.

Another style question regarding consistency-is it poor form to leave off an abbreviated street suffix (i.e. Green St) to make it fit the line or should I keep it consistent throughout the map book? My gut tells me to keep everything consistent which is why I asked about above or below the line. I did have a mix going which I thought looked really goofy.

I did attach a pdf of one of the sheets I've been playing around with-I hope it's not too big. I haven't added anything else yet but the streets. I've just started this project so I have a lot of time to play (for now). Any comments are appreciated! Thanks again for your help.

Attached Files



#6
MapMedia

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Thank you all for your suggestions. I am currently working in ArcGIS 9.3 with the DS Mapbook extension. The book will be regular letter sized paper, and my scale is about 1:34000 for each page. We actually do have the Maplex extension, so I will give that a try this afternoon.

Another style question regarding consistency-is it poor form to leave off an abbreviated street suffix (i.e. Green St) to make it fit the line or should I keep it consistent throughout the map book? My gut tells me to keep everything consistent which is why I asked about above or below the line. I did have a mix going which I thought looked really goofy.

I did attach a pdf of one of the sheets I've been playing around with-I hope it's not too big. I haven't added anything else yet but the streets. I've just started this project so I have a lot of time to play (for now). Any comments are appreciated! Thanks again for your help.


With Maplex you can also set the label to overrun the street, so you can keep suffix/ street type.

#7
Matthew Hampton

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I would definitely use Maplex for your labeling engine.

There are many different settings that you can exploit and get satisfactory results.

Not to sound like an ESRI fanboy - but using DSMapbook with Maplex will save many days of your life for other pursuits. These maps have a nice clean look. My only suggestion (not that you were asking) would be to make the graticules a different color (grey?) or give them a light fill color and lose the outlines. There are many dark lines on this map and reducing some of them might help.

co-cartographic creator of boringmaps.com


#8
MapMedia

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Thank you all for your suggestions. I am currently working in ArcGIS 9.3 with the DS Mapbook extension. The book will be regular letter sized paper, and my scale is about 1:34000 for each page. We actually do have the Maplex extension, so I will give that a try this afternoon.

Another style question regarding consistency-is it poor form to leave off an abbreviated street suffix (i.e. Green St) to make it fit the line or should I keep it consistent throughout the map book? My gut tells me to keep everything consistent which is why I asked about above or below the line. I did have a mix going which I thought looked really goofy.

I did attach a pdf of one of the sheets I've been playing around with-I hope it's not too big. I haven't added anything else yet but the streets. I've just started this project so I have a lot of time to play (for now). Any comments are appreciated! Thanks again for your help.


NW MapBook is better imho - if you haven't checked it out.

#9
anniec

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Thanks again for your comments. I do agree with you about lightening the graticule. It always helps to have a second (or third!) set of eyes. I have never heard of NW Mapbook, but I will do some research on that and see how it compares. I did experiment with Maplex yesterday, and I was pleased with the labels. I think it will take some tweaking but hopefully it will replace my hand labeling.

Thanks again for all your help!

Annie

#10
loximuthal

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When we make maps for Census operations (and we make a LOT) all our operations are done in a fully automated system. We've developed our own system, since we were unable to find a commercial system that would meet our needs (among them, millions of maps within a few months) and part of that system is a variation on the label software LabelEZ from MapText. This allows us to set a variety of rules for labeling roads including above, below, split (part above, part below), overhang, leader, reduce font size, bump other labels, etc. For some of our map projects we end up with quite a few roads that are shorter than their label at map scale, so we make full use of all the options. On some operations we end up forcing the label in the best (though not perfect) location; for other operations we allow the labels to be suppressed if an acceptable location is not found. We also sometimes end up creating insets for congested areas. So basically we'll do anything to get the label on there if we can. The one thing we don't do is place it on the line, since we don't do cased streets.
Andy McIntire
US Census Bureau

#11
Dennis McClendon

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Callouts (label with a pointer arrow) can take care of a lot of instances. For crowded or complex areas (mobile home parks are the worst), use a mnemonic abbreviation. For example, label the streets RS and SF, and have a nearby listing that shows

RS Avenida de los Rincones Serenos
SF Strawberry Fields Court

Another good option in Virginia might be to label the public streets with their four-digit state highway numbers, since those often appear on street signs in the field anyway.
Dennis McClendon, Chicago CartoGraphics
chicagocarto.com

#12
ProMapper

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A look at the sample mapbook and I find that you have ample space available for placing all the labels above or below or stacked above and belo0w the streets. I wonder why you want to place the labels on them. Your map will look much the better with labels not on the roads/streets, well this is my personal view.

Anu

http://www.mapsandlocations.com

#13
anniec

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Thanks again for your help! I think I will be using Maplex. It seems to be working well. We are not financially in a place where we can purchase new software, so I have basically been told "do what you can with what you have." Ah the joys of local government!

Thanks again for your help and advice!

#14
Ted Florence

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For those of you using MAPublisher and/or Adobe Illustrator, now is a good time to introduce you to MAPublisher LabelPro.
There has been a lot of discussion and back-and-forth regarding text placement and what software or method to use so now, in addition to Maplex from ESRI and Label-EZ from Maptext, there is MAPublisher LabelPro for Adobe Illustrator.

MAPublisher LabelPro offers advanced rule-based, collision-free text placement with a variety of options and performs its operations right inside Adobe Illustrator alongside the many other MAPublisher cartographic design tools.

Everything you need to know about MAPublisher LabelPro can be found at
http://www.avenza.co...her/maplabelpro

Ted Florence

Avenza Systems Inc.

When Map Quality Matters ®

www.avenza.com

 

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