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Index Grid that changes with page change

December 01 2011 | 9 comments
Categories: Data Driven Pages

I am creating a small street atlas, and I would like to create a grid as I can do using Data Frame Properties - Grids - in the Reference Grid Style. What I am trying to figure out is how to make a grid that will work with my Data Driven Pages, where the grid appears on each page, but will cover the extent of the entire county. I hope I am making sense here. So if I have a grid A-F and 1-5, page 1 may only show A-B and 1-2, the next page C-D and 3-4. I know I can make a static grid but when I make my street index for lookup the index numbers would have duplicates. Any ideas?

Mapping Center Answer:

Try creating a grid index feature exactly four times the size of your other grid. This way you will be able to show four sections of your other grid on each data driven page. This entry in the help will give you a better description on the grid index feature: Creating grid index features.

Note that we are not entirely sure we understand your question so if this answer doesn't help, be sure to get back in touch with us either though a comment to this answer or by posting another question here on Ask a Cartographer.

Atlas posted by Melissa Johnson on Dec 2 2011 8:30AM
It is a bit difficult to explain...I am trying to do an index grid similar to what you would find in a map from a phone book and trying to do it along with data driven pages. Ideally the grid would display on all of the data driven pages and change according to which area you are looking at. I am not sure this is possible in ArcMap currently.
atlas posted by Melissa Johnson on Dec 2 2011 8:35AM
Actually the grid isn't the biggest problem...what I am getting at is that the reference tabs are what I am trying to get to display on each page and change with the view.
Example posted by Aileen Buckley on Dec 2 2011 8:39AM
Check out the graphic example on the help topic for "Building map books with ArcGIS":

Note how the index map at the bottom updates with each page and how the text around the edges of the main map also change relative to the index page that is located N,S,W and E of the mapped area. Is this what you are trying to do?
atlas posted by Melissa Johnson on Dec 2 2011 9:29AM
I wish I could attach a picture...I want the tabs around the map itself (the ones that would indicate your feature is in A:1, C:5 for locating something like a street). In order to make one street index for the entire map book, the tabs would have to change with the pages according to where you were geographically. For example Pg 1 may be the NW tile of the county and have A to D and 1 to 4, then Pg 2 (NE tile) may show E to H and 1 - 4. Pg 3 (SW) would be A to D and 5 to 8 and Pg 4 (SE) would be E to H and 5 to 8. I am trying to find a way to make those tabs display the right numbers when the page changes given my reference grid tabs are(A,B,C... and 1,2,3...).
Atlas tabs posted by Craig Poynter on Dec 4 2011 1:19PM
Could you use Dynamic Text to accomplish your labelling? I created an atlas/mapbook using Data Driven Pages, and created Dynamic Text labels for each of the N/S/E/W sides of each page. If you are trying to make an index reference with one large page showing four smaller pages together, then you will probably need two grids. One that references your individual pages (e.g. A1, A2, B1, B2) and one that shows these pages combined into a larger reference grid. Your attribute fields are going to drive your tab labelling. If you want to see an example of what I used go to
atlas posted by Melissa Johnson on Dec 5 2011 6:55AM
Nice map book. On your page 2, imagine that was divided into 4 pages. What I am trying to do is get the tabs to display showing the correct index numbers automatically when I use data driven pages. I am not sure it is possible. I may play around with your technique and see if I can do it some other way. It looks like I may have to forgo the data driven pages for this project and make a tabbed grid for each page. Thanks!
Two options posted by Aileen Buckley on Dec 5 2011 12:54PM
We can think of two options for a solution to this. You could build the reference grid as a feature class with tabs, a mask feature, and the letters as annotation. Then you would need to give the tabs, mask, and annotation an attribute for map sheet name and code them with the corresponding page name. Then you can use a Page Definition Query to filter and only show the tabs and letters for the current page you are on.

The second option is to add graphic text and tabs around the outside of the data frame and then use arcpy.mapping to update the text to the correct letters for each page. This would probably work best in a single export script that steps through the pages, updates the letters in the tabs, and exports a page at a time. The result would be the same, but you wouldn't get a nice preview of the map.
Two options posted by Melissa Johnson on Dec 6 2011 8:57AM
Thanks for the suggestions! I am in the process now of taking a Python Programming with ArcGIS class, so I will try that second option in the future when I know more. Right now it would probably take me longer to try to figure it out than to just do 8 separate mxd's for the book I am working on now. Appreciate the assistance!
Glad to help -- let us know! posted by Aileen Buckley on Dec 6 2011 8:59AM
Glad to help. Can I suggest that you let us know if you solve the problem using the second method? If you do, and you want to share your script for others to use, let us know and we will be happy to post it for you here on Mapping Center!

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