Ask A Cartographer

Merging features between layers

January 09 2010 | 0 comments
Categories: Symbology

The option of Join Merge is available under the Symbol levels-Advanced for features withing a layer. I am having different layers and when I make them transparent, the edge of lines appears below the other layer.

Suggest a methodolgy, where I can merge and join features between layers to make them appear seamless.

Mapping Center Answer:

Symbol Level Drawing is the correct method to make linear features appear to be seamless. Join makes features drawn with the same symbol appear seamless, and merge makes features drawn with different symbols appear seamless. See the attached graphic for a test I did to replicate your situation.

Note that Join and Merge are only available for multilevel symbols. Symbols from feature layers that are symbolized otherwise will not appear in your group layer's Symbol Levels dialog box. Note that in the attached graphic, all of the symbols are "cased line symbols" which are created using two layers -- a thicker solid black line under a colored thinner line (like the Expressway and Freeway symbols in the ESRI Default style). If you want to recreate the symbology you have in your map instead of using a cased line, you could add anoterh layer to the symbol but make the color "No Color".

When you enable the option to "Draw this layer using the symbol levels below", the Join option is turned on for all symbols, by default. However, the Merge option is not.  The problem you are experiencing can be fixed using the Merge option.  In the attached graphic, I used both the Join and Merge options.

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