Ask A Cartographer


October 27 2010 | 2 comments
Categories: Labeling

I have an SDE layer comprised of our road network; let’s call it Fred. Fred’s labels are perfect, except for an unknown reason, I-215 on the west side won’t label. I-215 on the east side labels just fine. I can find no significant differences in the attributes. So I go to convert the labels to annotation for an unrelated reason, and in so doing, I copy Fred and re-route the copy’s Source to a geodatabase instead of the SDE—but it’s exactly the same data. I then convert to annotation (stored in database), and notice that I-215 on the west side is labeled perfectly. There is absolutely no difference between the label manager rules on the two Freds—what caused this to happen? Thank you!

Mapping Center Answer:

This will depend on the settings you have for labeling (which is what gets used to produce annotation).  If you have the remove duplicates option turned on, the same text label will not be placed.  For instance if your label string for each of the I-215 East and West is "I-215" then a duplicate label will be removed.  If you have a label strings of I-215E and I-215W, then you should see labels for both.

My best guess is that you are using the Maplex Label Placement Engine and Remove Duplicates is turned on (this option is on the Conflict Resolution tab of the Placement Properties dialog box that you can get to from the Label Manager).  Uncheck it and see how your roads get labeled.

The ESRI Standard Label Placement Engine works a little differently in that duplicates are removed from connected segments that have the same name. 

This issue could also depend on which version of ArcGIS you are using; we have fix a number of bugs in Maplex for 9.2, 9.3, and 9.3.1 relating to labels that did not show up that were supposed to.  So, ArcGIS 10 is the best yet.

follow up posted by Marianne Farretta on Oct 28 2010 10:51AM
This time, with my data pointed to the SDE and labels established nicely, but with the mysterious lapse on the west side, I converted to annotation in an annotation class, and voila! the west side labels appear. I'm in Arc10, using Maplex, Remove Duplicates is turned off, and all settings are the same both in the original layer's label settings and in the subsequent annotation class' label settings. What's driving this behavior? Thank you!
Could be a bug. posted by Charlie Frye on Oct 28 2010 1:57PM
Given the completeness of your analysis, it could be a bug. If you go back to the main Ask a Cartographer page, there is now a tab for getting you in touch with ESRI's technical support. They can do a more thorough job of analyzing what you're seeing and if it doesn't add up, they'll log a bug.


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