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Representations and RuleID field

June 17 2009 | 0 comments
Categories: Cartographic Representations

Is there some Arc reason why someone decided to make the representation field 'RuleID' a coded integer domain? This is not an intuitive decision. It would be much easier if this was just a text field and coded accordingly. The obvious reason being that an extra step must be taken to assign rule numbers to the features we want to symbolize. It would be SO nice to be able to assign a name to the rule and have it symbolized that way. Instead we have to assign a name and then join over the rule number using a look-up table or a summary table. Why use a rule number? Just give the rule a name and be done. The way it is now requires more steps that shouldn't be necessary, so I'm guessing it is an Arc issue? If not, it was a poor design choice in my opinion.

Mapping Center Answer:

The RuleID is a special kind of coded value domain and is designed to be compatible with the other components of the software.  It is a long integer field to accommodate a representation class with more than 256 representation rules.

You can add a representation class to a feature class through either ArcCatalog or ArcMap.  The easiest way to add a representation class is to convert the standard symbology of a feature layer in ArcMap.  This will automatically translate symbol categories into representation rules.

If you have symbology in one representation feature class that you want to transfer to another feature class, you can save the rules to your personal style and then load these rules into a new representation class.  To learn more about this, see Organizing representation rules with styles.

You can also assign a representation rule to multiple features using the Calculate Representation Rule tool (Cartography Tools > Representation Management > Calculate Representation Rule). This tool calculates a value for the RuleID field in your attribute table. Before you use the tool, either select multiple features using the Select by Attribute dialogue or open the attribute table and select the features interactively.

The Calculate Representation Rule tool is just one of the representation management tools.  Click here for a summary of representation management tools.

Another way to assign a RuleID to a feature is in an edit session. You can either assign a RuleID to a feature through the attribute table of the feature class or through the attributes dialog box. For more information on this topic see Working with feature representations.

Refer to An overview of representations for more information.

There are also quite a few Representation Tutorials that you may find useful.



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