Tips to show Length and Area fields

Blog Post created by Leandermen on Jul 14, 2014

Hello Geogeeks


Sometimes, when we want to publish our data in ArcGIS Server or ArcGIS Online, we want to show two iconic fields of every Polygon Feature class as we want. That's right, i'm talking about Shape.length and Shape.area fields.


When we want to use them, by default we have something like this:


Let´s make it look better with some tips in ArcMap.


First, we are gonna change the column alias. If you want to do it, in the layer properties go to Fields Tab and select the length or area column.



If you see in the right, you can change the Alias parameter. i'm gonna set my fields' alias as Area and Perimeter. Then i apply and i should look the attribute table like this:



Pretty nice!! but let's face it, nobody knows the measure unit except for me. As my Feature class have a WGS84 coordinate system with UTM projection, the area it's calculated in square meters and the perimeter in meters. Well, i'm going to change the number format in the perimeter field so it'll show 2 decimal places and the m (for meters) as a suffix (i.e: 85,25 m). Let's do it in the field properties. When you highlight the "Number Format" parameter it will show a button to modify it.



In the Number format window select the category "Rate". The rate format display numeric data calculated with an scale factor, and with a suffix!, so as we want to display in meters we set the factor to 1 and put " m" (don't forget the space before the suffix) like this:



Now we want to show two decimals, press the "Numeric Options" button and set the number of decimal places to 2.


Then click Ok and check the results:



Nice!!!! well, let's do the same with the Area field. We are going to do the same BUT we want to show the data in hectares. That's when the factor of the rate category it's important. The factor works at a divisor to the original value. i.e: 20000 square meters = 2 hectare, my factor value it's 10000 (because 20000/10000 = 2).


Let's apply the previous operation but in the Number format window set the factor for Area field as 10000 and suffix " há" like this.




With the same numeric options, we'll have something like this:



VOILA!!! A better presentation for your Length and Area in your MXD. You can see the results in HTML pop-up windows, identify results, and in published maps on ArcGIS Server or ArcGIS Online...


See you next time!! Don't forget to follow me Leandro Zamudio León i appreciate your feedback and if you want more tips like this


Until the next coffee time!!!