Ask A Cartographer

Running a model inside a map template

January 06 2011 | 2 comments
Categories: ArcGIS Methods

How can you insert an option, like a button or a keystroke, to run a small model in a map template? I need to create a soils map and label only the soils inside a property boundary and list the soil names in the legend.

Mapping Center Answer:

I am not quite sure what you are asking but I will try to answer.  Let me know if I am off base.

You cannot use a model to create a map and label the features and add a legend.  You can create a model to select the soils that meet a certain criteria, however (e.g., they are within a particular property boundary).  This would be a model that you would add to ArcToolbox, so essentially it IS in your user interface. However, as stated above, you cannot create a model to add a legend to a map document using Model Builder.  You could possibly do this with ArcObjects bout it seem to me to be overkill for what you are trying to do.

I'll try to clarify. posted by Pamela Linson-DeVore on Jan 7 2011 9:30AM
I've created a template for a soils map to keep the layout and the map elements uniform so that users only have to update the datasets. These are novice ArcMap users. In order to label the soils in the map and list the soil names in the legend, I created a small model to clip, buffer, and create an output for the soils inside the property boundary. I wanted to insert a button or link a keystroke in the map document that would initiate the model and create a shapefile in a specific folder that can be added to ArcMap. Since I don't program, I am not aware of a way to do this. Is there a way to programmically create this process?
Geoprocessing response posted by Dale Honeycutt on May 2 2011 10:19AM
This can be done.

First, be sure that your model has the necessary input and output parameters. See "Creating model parameters" (

You can specify how you want your output to be symbolized in your model. See "A quick tour of setting output data symbology" (

You can then make a button for your model to run by customizing the ArcMap UI. See "Adding and removing tools on menus and toolbars" (

Whenever your model tool is run, the output of the model tool needs to be added to the display. This is the default, but just in case, you (and your users) should know about the "Add results of geoprocessing operations to the display" (from the Geoprocessing menu, click "Geoprocessing options". See "Using geoprocessing options to control tool execution" (

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