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Virtual Dissolve for Polygon Fill and Boundary Lines still not as simple as in ArcPlot

June 17 2011 | 0 comments
Categories: ArcGIS Methods, Symbology

I just read the wonderful article "Virtual dissolve for polygon fill and boundary lines" by Kenneth Field. The Comments are turned off so I'm submitting my question here. Well it's more of a comment. ArcInfo Workstation (ArcPlot) has had this functionality using a single command since at least 1989 when I started with ArcINFO 5.0. So I'm both disappointed in how long it took to port this functionality to ArcGIS and that it's still more complicated than it needs to be.

When I submitted this as an enhancement requests several years ago I got the "why don't you just use a dissolve" line from the guy at ESRI who didn't see the problem. I wonder how many more years it will take to port the remaining ArcInfo Workstation functionality to ArcGIS. (Rant Off)

Mapping Center Answer:

We don't ever "disable" commenting, so you should be able to comment to the blog entry -- you just have to be logged in with your Esri Global Login first.

This effect was simple to do in Workstation because the coverage topology model allowed for on-the-fly dissolves for draw operations like this. However, the coverage model had serious downsides with respect to scalability and the rigidness of the topology model. Sp when we switched to using simple features, we traded scalability for the loss of some of these coverage "niceties".

That said, we have had the approach that was documented in the blog since at least ArcGIS 8.1, so it helps, I think to remind people of this every so often!

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