Ideas for how to represent large number of  parcel owners?

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07-19-2012 07:48 AM
EvanMiller1
New Contributor
Hi all,
I am trying to represent owners of riverfront property in a downtown area, the only issue is that there are like 150+ different owners so not only is the legend absolutely huge but there aren't enough drastically different colors to make the map even worth looking at. Does anyone have experience working with a map that has a huge legend? Any ideas on how to maybe consolidate or make it an effective communicator of who owns property where? I thank you for reading this and am open to any suggestions at this point.

Thanks in advance,
Evan
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4 Replies
SolomonPulapkura
Occasional Contributor III
Is there a reason why you need to apply symbology? Could you not just label the polygons with owner names and not have a legend at all?
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EvanMiller1
New Contributor
I need a legend because not everyone that will be using the information on this map is proficient in ArcMap so it needs to be digestible to the average viewer after creating a layout view and .pdf of it, not just a viewable file in ArcMap. And also I still have issues with the coloring of the parcels, there aren't nearly enough colors to represent the parcels to the point where someone could look at them and identify who the owner is based on the legend because there are 10 close shades of yellow, 10 close shades of red etcetra etcetra, does anyone know what a solution for a quality, layout view map for this type of project is?
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JoshuaDamron
Occasional Contributor III
Evan,
  Listing information for +150 people is well beyond the possiblities of a legible legend.  You may consider adding a "MapID" field (with a numeric value) to your parcel feature class and labeling the parcels on the map using this field. 

For identifying/linking parcel data with owners you would then export a table from your attributes that identifes parcel owners by MapID number.  The table could accompany your map on additional sheets as requried, the audience could skim through the table to find what they are looking for.  Depending on the size of your final print medium/paper you might be able to squeeze the table onto your map to act as a legend, I'm doubtful though.

Best of luck!
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NumaGremling
New Contributor
The human eye can only distinguish 7 colors easily. Therefore, as you said, it does not make any sense to assign a color to each owner. Do you have to display everything on one sheet? If not you could attach a list with parcel numbers and corresponding owners, meaning that you can label your parcels with the numbers, instead of long names. Or what about using colors to classify owners according to their second name (e.g. names from A-F = blue). It depends on how people will use the map. But if they simply want know where person X has a parcel then that would be a quicker way to find these parcels.

Or you could also include multiple data frames, with each one zooming in at a different spot. I prepared a quick thing for you. Not very artistic nor accurate (the individual frames�?? content do not match the main frame), but it should get the point across: the map in the middle will show your entire area, and the boxes around it are the zoomed in areas (which �??pop out�?�). You would have to figure out how to squeeze in legends still but that could as well be accomplished with enlarging the paper size (what will people be looking at? A JPEG stored on a computer or perhaps a poster? The latter would make it easier, for example). If you are allowed to have multiple sheets you would not even need to have multiple dataframes. You could simply make multiple maps (and you would have plenty of space for legends) and finally make a general map which indicates which map depicts which area.

Thinking about it now�?� look at my second attachment. Made this map a while ago and it might help to further explain what I am talking about.
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