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ESRI Lunch Specials: Designing Restaurant Symbols and Labels
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Image showing several of the restaurant locations
This section of the map shows several of the restaurant locations (black circles with white numbers) and a section of the key for the numbers that appeared to the right of the map.

What: The restaurant locations are the most important feature of this map. The symbols for the restaurant locations needed to be the most visually prominent feature. Why: Because the map was at a scale where individual buildings could not be easily differentiated, we needed a way to symbolize and label the restaurants that would allow quick, easy, and accurate map reading. How: We used a common cartographic effect called a “label key” for this task.

To set up and create a label key:

  1. For the restaurants we were initially supplied with a table of restaurant names and addresses. For the numbers shown on the map, we added a new integer field to this table then we sorted the restaurant names, and manually typed the numbers into the new field.
  2. Then we geocoded the restuarants based on their addresses to our street data, which produced a point dataset.
  3. We symbolized the restaurant points 12 pt. black circles that were simple marker symbols.
  4. Step 3 resulted in some cases where marker symbols overlapped, so we edited the locations of the points. In most cases both points were moved away from each other. However, later the locations were also field verified to ensure the best placement
  5. The restaurants were labeled using the restaurant number field that we created in step 1.
    1. The text symbol Arial, 8 pt, Bold, and white.
    2. The Maplex label placement properties were:
      1. Placement: Centered on Point
      2. Never Remove label was checked to ensure no point was unlabeled.
  6. We formatted the list of restaurants in Microsoft Word, to handle the indention needs and we cover this in Inserting formatted text from another document.

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