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Workflow advice: maps of 40 cities

April 28 2008 | 0 comments
Categories: Page Layout

I am producing very simple B&W maps of 40 U.S. metropolitan areas, which will be individually outputted to some vector format. I use 6 layers taken from the 2006 StreetMap set (Census and transportation data, mostly), with suitable tweaks to the symbology. My computer is a 4 year old ho-hum single processor office box.

What would be the most efficient workflow?

My unsuccessful attempts so far:
1) select the 40 MSAs all at once with a single, long SQL query, clip the data frame to the selection, layout each of the 40 as desired, and create a bookmark for each. This fails when trying to clip the 40-city selection: the CPU stayed maxed out for up to 2 hrs, after which I force-quitted ArcGIS.
2) try reducing the data by exporting the selection to shapefiles, rather then clipping the data frame. Not much success there: the only layer for which the data are reduced is the layer on which the selection is based.

Thanks for all suggestions. If there are specific documents or courses that address this situation, as there probably are, I would be very grateful for links.

Mapping Center Answer:

Evaluate the developer sample: "DS Map Book".  I've included a hyperlink to the site, but for reference the sample is available for download from the ESRI Developer Network (, search under 'map book'.

Another approach you might consider is to use a map template to create a standard layout, and manually type in the Data Frame extent for each MSA map individually. 

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