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represent international sales using 'arrows'

March 16 2011 | 1 comment
Categories: ArcGIS Methods

I have some sales data from the U.S. to International destinations. I would like to be able to chart the data with some type of arrow from the US to the International location. The 3D pie chart works, but users want to see arrows. Quickly looking around it appears that I might just have to do a graphic representation of the data, then any automated measure of displaying the information. Any advice greatly appreciated.

Mapping Center Answer:

You're correct, you will need to at least do the work of the graphical representation.  However, I would recommend not using graphics, and instead using features (so make new feature classes to to represent the arrows).  That will give you a few key advantages, like using transparency or other higher-end forms of symbology, as well as better editing tools.

Specifically, on the editing, you'll find that that you can digitize very coarse lines (few vertexes) and then use the smooth tool on the Advanced Editing toolbar to make them look nice.  Then I would suggest not worrying about the arrowheads until after you symbolize the lines using the line weight you like, but then run the Feature Outline Masks tool (In the Cartography toolbox, and then in the Masking Tools toolset).  The output of the tool will be a polygon dataset that you can edit to add the Arrowheads using reshape and then move the vertexes around to refine the arrows until they look natural.

Blog entry posted by Aileen Buckley on Mar 29 2011 8:48AM
There is a blog entry on Mapping Center that discusses how to mnake flow maps. Here is the link:

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