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area boxes for legend (ArcGIS 10)

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#1
frax

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Hi,

I am currently working on a project where I need to to prepare a set of maps on protected areas for the Arctic countries, and they will all be one equal-area projection map per country. I prepare the basic map layout in ArcGIS and finish the design in Adobe Illustrator.

Now I want to add a little square in the legend for area comparison, at a suitable area size - it might be a 50 km2 area square or 250 km2 area square - a round figure that would work for the scale of each map (would be different size for different maps).

How would I most easily create this squares?

The only way that I could think up easily would be to create a raster at the size I want, and then convert it to polygons. Which would work very well, but it feels a bit roundabout...

Any other tips?
Hugo Ahlenius
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#2
DaveB

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One possibility:
I think I would draw the square inside the dataframe so I can get the size right, and then redraw over that in the layout.
In layout view focus the data frame so you can draw inside it in geographic space
Draw a graphic rectangle and then edit its size in the properties dialog. This will be in map units, most likely meters so you may have to convert. Not too hard if you're going to kilometers ;)
Then unfocus the data frame and draw another rectangle in layout space right on top of your first rectangle, making sure it's the right size.
Once you have the rectangle in layout view you can refocus the data frame and delete the one from data view.

It should be possible to skip the data view part and just figure out the dimensions needed for layout view, going from geographic space/units to page space/units. If you were doing quite a few of these it might even be feasible to write a python script to adjust the rectangle's size. Whether it would be worth the work I guess would depend on how many variations you need and how good you are at the math or at python.

I'm sure there must be requests to add some way to quickly and easily create area scales. Maybe on the Esri ideas site?
eta: ah, here is a proposal for area scale on ideas site
Dave Barnes
Esri
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#3
Dennis McClendon

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Perhaps this is a step that would be much easier after you have it in Illustrator. After all, you'll have a scale bar for reference.

That said, an area scale is pretty important—and pretty common—on conservation and land use planning maps, so I'm surprised Arc doesn't already include this feature.
Dennis McClendon, Chicago CartoGraphics
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#4
frax

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DaveB - I am actually exporting from the data frame view, I haven't used layout view for these. I didn't know one could draw a rectangle and then edit the size in map units - that would work very well for me! Thanks - I suspected there might be something obvious that I had missed!
Hugo Ahlenius
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#5
DaveB

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Ah, Hugo, that makes it even easier. :) I tend to think in terms of layout view because that's where my focus is.
Dave Barnes
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