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ranking and remove duplicates not working as anticipated

June 23 2011 | 3 comments
Categories: Labeling

Hello! I am preparing a pmf for ArcReader, and therefore am working without Maplex. In the attached, you'll see Frontage road labels infringing upon Interstate labels. Interstate is ranked higher in label weight, feature weight, and symbol level, but I can't get the low ranked frontage labels to shift off of them.

The second issue I have: there are two I-80 labels drawing here, despite having "remove duplicates" checked. The label is being driven by a common field between these two segments of road. Playing around with it, it appears that the labeling engine won't permit the road to have fewer than two labels, regardless of how small a segment is actually visible.

What am I missing? Thank you!

Mapping Center Answer:

The first issue (graphical infringement) is caused by the Standard Label engine only comparing the text, and not the background or effects; so the marker from the highway shield and the halo on the text are not accounted for in our collision detection functionality.  

You can address this in the Standard Label Engine's Properties on the Conflict Detection tab, by Setting the Buffer to something between 50 and 100.

That said, it's not going to produce a perfect solution given the second issue you describe.  Remove duplicates works a little differently in the Standard Label Engine--it is applied at the the "feature" level, which means for line labels that we assume that conterminous line features with the same name constitute the same feature.  So the Remove duplicates will apply within a feature, but for double-lined interstates, each direction is a different feature. 

While there are higher order solutions like creating annotation, or tagging only the features you want labeled in your data, both are a daunting task given the scope of work I imagine you have.  I use an imperfect hack when faced with this problem, which is to filter some of the features you might be labeling out.  It looks better, but runs the chance of not labeling something.  

In the case of Frontage Roads, I modified the Label Class SQL Query to:  "TYPE" = 'FR' AND MOD("OBJECTID", 5) = 0

Where I added the MOD function against the Object ID, which basically says randomly select some of the features.  You could vary the mod number.  For your data (I still have it) 5 worked better than 2 or 3.

Sorry--there's no perfect solution.  

Highway shield was also an issue posted by Charlie Frye on Jun 27 2011 11:27AM
We were testing this further and found it the cause to be in the symbol for your highway shield--it is a picture marker symbol. A workaround would be to use a character marker symbol.
RE: Highway shield was also an issue posted by Marianne Farretta on Jun 27 2011 11:58AM
Thank you for the added info. All of my highway shields are emf files which I created in Adobe Illustrator. One reason for this is b/c the ttf NV highway shields found online, while a great resource, are missing some of our routes and we can't make our own. Their design also doesn't read well on smaller sheet sizes. Though I have thus far used my own interstate labels as well, I could use Esri's built-in symbology for those classes, but the NV shield issue remains. Thanks again!
Thanks for the update posted by Aileen Buckley on Jun 28 2011 2:03PM
Thanks for the update on your progress, Marianne!

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