Hide parts of one layer with another

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11-23-2012 08:23 AM
StephenAtkins1
New Contributor II
Hello everyone.  Seems I only get a chance to work with ArcGIS every couple of weeks so the learning curve has been steep in some areas.

Today I'm battling with this one.  I have a shapefile of our district that just shows the borders.  I have another shapefile that has the different divisions with in the district.  The divisions shapefile also has the borders.  I've set the symbology of the divisions to have a very think line (10 points) and the board layer with a thin line (1 point).  Unfortunately the thick line shows under the thin line and I don't want it to.  Is there a way I can make it so the divisions layer shows the interior thick lines but not on the boarder?

Let me know if you need more clarification.

Stephen
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9 Replies
GregoryElwood
New Contributor II
I think I understand what you're asking about. I have a few techniques that I use to try and get map data to appear a certain way, but there are some caveats.

I often end up using my elements multiple times in the Table of Contents. Chopped up in to little pieces, definition queried to death and every little bit symbolized differently. That's just for starters. After that we delve in to the universe of Cartographic Representations, where creativity runs free...free, like, in a Salvador Dali painting. After a few days, my Representations have no actual, technical relationship with their underlying geometry because I have scaled, moved, changed colors, re-symbolized and otherwise bastardized the appearance of everything.

Then the Boss walks in and asks for the value of the one edge of something that's not even a polygon to be highlighted for the meeting starting in 30 minutes. That's when I just give up and make a line using the Draw Menu.

Happy Holidays!

Gregory
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GregoryElwood
New Contributor II
Oh...and changing polygons to lines is often a huge help. My rant got away from me...

-G
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StephenAtkins1
New Contributor II
Thanks for the reply.  That was actually very useful rant.  Like I say I'm still new to ArcGIS and getting my head around everything is taking some time.  I would like to take a few courses and probably will next year but I just can't get away right now to do that.  Until then I may have to ask the odd question here.

I'll take a look at the shape file table view to see how it breaks everything up then do some queries to test if I can remove portions that I don't need to show.  If all goes well I'll have my map looking great in no time.  After that I just need to put land owner info on to the map.  That's going to be a challenge if there are multiple owners and have it add line feeds/carriage returns/font size automatically.
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StephenAtkins1
New Contributor II
It seems I don't have the license to use the polygon to line in the tool box.  Looks like I'll have to find another way to do what I want.
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GregoryElwood
New Contributor II
If the license is one that allows you to edit a shapefile try using the Trace Tool to create a line around all or part of a polygon. Then symbolize the line to make it stand out.

Co-incident lines (borders) can be a pain, but playing around with symbology and transparency can be helpful.

-G
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JimW1
by
Occasional Contributor II
How about just making the border lines 11pt?

There is a ROI curve for cartography and having thicker divisions than outer boundaries seems pretty steep for a simple cartographic trick. Now I must say I don't usually listen to my own advice and I'd totally waste 3 hours trying to get this to work.
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ChristopherThompson
Regular Contributor
if you want to convert your polygons into polylines you don't need the tool, or resort to the trace tool which can be tedious. 

  • Create a new empty polyline featureclass (or shapefile), add it to your map and start editing it.

  • Select the polygons you want to change into polylines, and click the 'copy' button on the main toolbar.

  • Then click the 'paste' button on the main toolbar - you should get a prompt as to which feature class to paste into, make sure you select the empty polyline feature class you created in the first step.  Stop editing.

This process brings the polyline geometry from the polygons over to the polyline featureclass.  Once you have this then you can edit the new polylines as you need to get rid of the boundary (alternatively attribute these lines as being either "county boundary" or "county division" that way you will have a single shapefile that you can use for multiple cartographic purposes.  Unfortunately you cannot go the other directions to get polygons from polylines.
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StephenAtkins1
New Contributor II
Thanks for the tips guys.  Kinda got side tracked on another project but I'll give the copy/paste a try next week.
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StephenAtkins1
New Contributor II
I tried following your instructions but this is where my newbie status might get me in trouble.

When I select the polygon I want to copy the copy button (and under the edit menu) are grayed out. I did the "Start Editing" before selecting any poly's.  I also tried making only the layer that has that polygon selectable.

It's some of these little thing like this that I still scratch my head on and can't seem to find any good documentation although I'm sure it exists somewhere in the docs.

Thanks for any help you can give.

Stephen
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