Ask A Cartographer

Automated production of 2000+ maps

November 17 2008 | 0 comments
Categories: ArcGIS Methods

Hi,

I have a database of over 2000 species (a total of over 800,000 records), and I would like to produce a map showing the distribution for every species. The routine would step through the database, select a species, create the map, and then export the map to a gif (and do so automagically for all 2000+ species). I know a program such a Mapyrus can do this, but I was hoping that there might be a 'native' solution. (If this involves writing code, would any coding hints be available?) Thanks for any guidance you can provide.

Mapping Center Answer:

What you're after has come to be known as a "Dynamic Definition Query".

Our PLTS/MPS Atlas product has this capability; and how to use it is covered in one of the PLTS Help topics called How to set up a feature layer definition query.  The idea is the dynamic component is the value of the Species type which would be cycled for each "drawing" of the map in order to produce the series.

If you want to write some code, try working with the ArcMapBook extension (free, with ArcObjects source code that you can customize).  From the documentation included, I couldn't quite tell if the notion of dynamic definition queries was supported or not--if anyone else who knows more, please comment!

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