Ask A Cartographer

How do I suppress display of unlabeled features?

September 04 2008 | 0 comments
Categories: Symbology

For example, when I am mapping an urban area with many city points. My labeling hierarchy is set up so that cities with the larger populations get priority. But then there are many small cities in urban areas where there is no room for a label, but I still have the city points visible.
How can I suppress those unlabeled city points?
I am using ArcView license - perhaps this is something that feature-linked anno could deal with?

Mapping Center Answer:

Feature linked annotation can deal with this in a 'round-about' way. You'd need to join the feature linked anno back to your point features and then set the definition query of the points to be something like "Status" = 'Placed'.

However, after having been in that boat a few times, I found it was better to change/improve the design of the map.  Instead of drawing the points--which are really representing areas, find a feature class of the city area polygons and use that.  In our LA Ethnicity example map, I did something like that and set the labeling up (using Maplex) to not label the feature if the label overran the polygon by more the 12 points. Generally speaking the point features for city points works well for small scale maps, but once zoomed into metro areas, that convention often looks unprofessional (I have no idea what your map looks like).  You can get the urban area polygons from the ESRI Map & data DVDs that come with ArcView (if you're in a larger organization you may have to hunt down and find the person who actually has the DVDs).

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