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ds mapbook in ArcGIS 10

May 25 2010 | 10 comments
Categories: ArcGIS Methods, Data Driven Pages


I just found out that ESRI will no longer support VB6 in ArcGIS 10. I use DS Mapbook on a daily basis and it is written in VBA. Our company is participating in the ArcGIS Beta program so I just tried installing the newest version of DS Mapbook on Arc 10 Beta 2 and had no luck getting it to run. I know that there is new mapbook like functionality in Arc 10 called "Data Driven Pages." Do you know if there is a way to either use the Data Driven Pages feature with existing mapbooks or if there is a way to get DS Mapbook to work in Arc 10?


Mapping Center Answer:

MicroSoft mainstream support for Visual Basic 6 ended in 2005. For this reason and due to potential security issues with VB6, we no longer support it at ArcGIS 10. The DS MapBook developer sample was built using this now unsupported technology.

As a developer sample, the DS Mapbook has never been a supported product (no technical support, no official upgrades, etc.), even though the ability to create map books had been one of our larger user requests. To meet most of these needs, at ArcGIS 10, we added support in the core software to build multiple-page map books using an index layer. We also added dynamic text for page names and page numbers, and added new extent, clip to shape, and definition query options making it possible to create dynamic overview diagrams and page specific effects like highlighting the current page. All this new functionality, along with new geoprocessing tools to help create index layers, and a new toolbar to navigate the pages, are collectively referred to as data driven pages (DDP). We also added a new python scripting module called arcpy.mapping. When you combine the functionality of DDP and arcpy, the majority of the functionality that was available in DS MapBook is available out of the box at ArcGIS 10.

The method for creating map books using data driven pages is different from what you are used to with the developer sample. All the functionality is not in one place, but embedded throughout ArcMap. This is by design. There are places where improvements made to support data driven pages also support many other use cases for single maps. These differences mean that there will be a different experience for working with your map books, but the majority of the functionality is there, and it is now supported.

This following blog post should provide some direction to help you get started migrating map books from the developer sample to data driven pages:

Data Driven Pages posted by Robert Borchert on Aug 24 2010 5:31AM
So how do we get the Data Driven Pages to print out map pages?
Online help topic posted by Aileen Buckley on Aug 24 2010 5:31PM
You can use the Export Map dialog box to export Data Driven Pages to PDF. Here is a link to the online help topic for exporting the data driven pages:

You can also use arcPy to do this as well as other functions.
Customising Data Driven pages with Python???? posted by francesca adrienne on Sep 28 2010 6:25PM
How do we customize the Data Driven pages using the new Python libraries in ArcGIS 10? If it's available I sure cannot find where to start my search.
Street Indexing posted by Jake Krall on Sep 29 2010 7:32AM
You state "we've added functionality to ArcGIS 10 called data driven pages--this will do what the uncustomized ArcMapBook/DSMapBook samples did and more". Your statement is incorrect. DS Mapbook included funcionality to create a street index based on a grid. This function is not available in DDP. Why was such a necessary tool omitted from DDP???
Re: Customize Data Driven Pages and Indexing posted by Wesley Jones on Sep 29 2010 10:57AM
A good place to start with the Data Driven Pages and Python is the Geoprocessing Resource Center, and take a look for Map Automation, arcpy.mapping, and Data Driven Pages in the Geoprocessing Model and Script Tool Gallery "".

Also, there was a blog recently written about getting started with Python Map Automation. It links to some useful Data Driven Pages resources. ""

Concerning the omission of an index function, there has been a script tool created that combines the Data Driven Pages, arcpy.mapping and the ReportLab site package to generate a map series that includes index pages. “”
Data Driven Pages??? posted by john carr on Apr 21 2011 10:39AM
ESRI needs to do a reality check? Your hype indicates that Data Driven Pages does everything that DS Mapbook did and more? You need to make sure thats true before making the claim. So far my research indicates that there is no map series available. The ability to print disabled pages is not available. Tagging a text field as an index layer isn't availble. There is an indication that noncontiguous polygons can not be mapbooked?
Exporting to Georeferenced .PDF's is not supported. So far every funtion that I need and depend on is no longer supported. Everything new and fabulous, I don't need. Who would ever think that a Data Driven Page is in any way related to mapbooking? I don't know how to write Python scripts or edit html's. Why are programing skills now a requirement with the new and improved version? A new and improved product should not require more key stokes to complete a task than the old version! I hope there are fixes for these issues.
Give it a try. posted by David Watkins on Apr 26 2011 5:26PM
Hi John,

I agree with you that the statement about Data Driven Pages doing everything the DSMapbook sample does is an overstatement. We often lump the work we did in ArcGIS 10 with data driven pages and Python and map automation together when we talk about data driven pages because they work well together. We have changed the original response to the user’s question to reflect that.

The data driven pages implementation is quite different from the map book developer sample. However, there is a lot of functionality there; you may just have to access it in a different way. For example, you can specify the exact pages you want to print in the print dialog. You can use any point, line, or polygon feature class as an index layer, and no, the polygons do not have to be contiguous. Georeferenced PDF files are fully supported. Programming is not required to build a map book. Please take a look at the following blog post as an introduction and give it a try:

David Watkins
Esri Cartography Product Manager
DDP and Templates posted by Noel WIlson on Jun 15 2011 6:36AM
In looking at all the comments, there seems to be a temendous amount of non-functionality. I have run into another. Prior to 10 we utilized Templates on a regular basis. That functionality (.mxt) is now gone in 10. When we generated mapbooks we imported templates to format the series. How can we utilize our templates, which now have to be .mxd's, into a current map with constantly changing data?
Templates at 10 posted by Aileen Buckley on Jun 15 2011 1:36PM
When we released ArcGIS 10 we got rid of .mxts for various reasons, and everything you could do with an .mxt can now be done with an .mxd. So now any .mxd can be used as a template, and you should have the same experience using an .mxd as you had before with an .mxt. Here is alink to a recent Ask a Cartographer question about map templates that might help further:
Deleting Grid Index Pages posted by Jennifer Dick on Feb 24 2012 1:41PM
I’m creating a map book using data driven pages, however I need to delete index features as they do not show anything of value within that grid. There is basically 2 distinct areas in the County that I need to make a one map book for. The grid index needs to follow the Bow River, but I do not need to include the portion of the river that runs through Calgary.

Would you have any suggestions for me? I can go into editing mode and delete those grids I do not need, but I’m afraid it will confuse my page numbering.

I appreciate your thoughts and time on this,


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