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Is there a way to create symbols using sequential numbers?

April 27 2011 | 4 comments
Categories: Labeling, Symbology

I am creating a map with hundreds of points that need to have a colored circle with numbers inside the circle going from 1, 2, 3, etc... Is there a way to automatically create symbols using sequential numbers with character marker symbols or is there a different approach with the same results?

Mapping Center Answer:

The best way to do this will be to approach this as a labeling problem and then use a symbol that is like one of the highway shields. To do this, you will need to have an attribute that has the number to appear within the circles. Then you can just modify one of the existing highway shield labels to look like the symbols you want on your map.

Here is a blog entry we wrote about using highway shields that may help you: Using highway shields of varying lengths

Legend posted by Case Robertson on May 2 2011 7:22AM
Is there a way to treat this as a labeling problem and have a legend or a key reflect the labels?
Graphic legend posted by Aileen Buckley on May 2 2011 8:05AM
If you take the approach suggested above, you would need to add this symbol to your legend graphically as it will not automatically be added as a label. Howeer, I think that might be best anyyway, because you say you have hundreds of points, and I am guessing you only need one example of this in your legend.
clarification posted by Case Robertson on May 2 2011 8:10AM
I apologize for not clarifying. Example: I have approximately 129 items to label. They need to be labeled 1 - 129 (pulling from attribute), and have several different colors to represent different types (pulling from attribute), so 1-21 might be red circles, 22-49 blue circles, but the numbers need to be sequential. All 1-129 need to be listed in the legend. I will be creating hundreds of these types of maps and am just looking to see if there is a better way to save time. Completely open to any suggestions and thanks for your assistance thus far!
Can you group? posted by Craig Poynter on May 3 2011 4:36PM
Could you group the numbers (e.g. 1-29), so that in the legend for red dots you would have the text 1-29, to let map users know what numbers are used, or possibly use two files, one for labelling and a copy with coloured circles/dots behind the labels without having to find and scale shields or other symbols to accommodate the label?

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