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Copy representation

September 23 2009 | 5 comments
Categories: Cartographic Representations


We've been working with representation on a feature class and a client send us the exact same feature, with another representation. Is there a way to merge those two representation in only one feature? There's not only rules, but a lot of override (moved lines, ...) as well.


Mapping Center Answer:

You can add representation classes from one feature class to another.  However, you cannot carry over the Overrides from one representation class to another with a simple tool or calculation.

To add a representation class from one feature class to another, you will work through a couple of steps. 

  1. First, you will want to save the representation symbology from one representation class so that you can add it to another feature class.  One way to do this is in ArcMap.  Add your feature class and your client’s feature class to ArcMap.  Symbolize your client’s layer using Representations.  Right-click that layer and select “Save As Layer File.”   Save this to a location in your directory. 
  2. The next step is to add this symbology to your feature class.  In the Representation Management Toolbox under Cartography Tools, select the Add Representation tool.  Add your feature class as the Input Features.  Specify the Representation Name, Rule ID Field Name and the Override Field Name.  You could name them "ClientRep", "RuleID_Client" and "Override_Client", for example.  Browse to the layer file you saved in the first step to apply your client’s symbology to the new representation class.  Click OK. 
  3. Since the feature classes are the same, you can then join your client’s feature class to your feature class by ObjectID and calculate the RuleID_Client.

Alternatively, you can download the capture representations rule from Arcscripts: To assign the RuleID and Overrides, you would follow Step 3 above.

If you have Overrides, these will not transfer over with a simple calculation.  In this case, you would want to keep both your feature class and the client's feature class with the separate representation classes and Overrides.

Thanks! posted by Fran├žois Turcotte-Goulet on Oct 2 2009 5:16AM
Thanks a lot! That will save us a lot of time!! :)

I must also add that I think it's sad that with ArcEditor we can create and edit representation, but the Cartography Toolbox is ArcInfo only... We have one licence of each so it will be possible to do it, but that complicates workflow for us a bit...

But many thanks for the reply!! :)
Calculating a blob field... posted by Fran├žois Turcotte-Goulet on Oct 5 2009 11:43AM

I finally get to try what you suggested, but I couldn't calculate the Override field... In the help, it says that the reason the Field calculator could be disable because the field is a blob... Is that right? How can I calculate my field then with the override from the client?

Thanks posted by Andrew Blasky on Nov 2 2010 10:43AM
This was very useful!
Override fields cannot be calculated posted by Aileen Buckley on Nov 4 2010 2:35PM

As we stated in step 5 of the answer, you will not be able to calculate the Override field. Overrides are specific to the representation class that they belong to and can't be "copied" to another representation class (either in the same feature class or another existing feature class).

The only practical way to duplicate an override is to copy the current feature class.

Having said that, if there are only a few features that need to match, then another solution might be to turn on various snapping environments and edit a feature with one rep class to snap to the other rep class, and then manually edit the property overrides to match as necessary. Albeit slow, this will achieve the desired result. If there are many features that need to match, then spare yourself the agony and just copy the feature class.
different projections posted by katherine obrien on Dec 8 2011 5:32AM
I received files and data from ESRI's Community Maps Team. I had submitted our data-which did not have representation-to the project. The data submitted was in state plane coordinates.

ESRI added representation to the data, deleted attribute fields and returned a PGDB in WGS.

Will the above steps work if the feature classes are in different projections?

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