Layering Polygons

11-23-2010 05:51 AM
New Contributor
I'm frankly shocked I've never encountered this problem before and despite its seeming simplicity I cannot find a good solution. My problem is that I have a polygon shapefile displaying vegetation types. In some areas vegetation type A overlaps type B, while in other B overlaps A. Of course it's more complex than this as there are about 12 vegetation types and they are all overlapping each other. I need to find a way to order the polygons so that those being overlapped always show up on top. The shapefile needs to be delivered as just one shapefile with a layer file so separating out certain vegetation types is not an option. I need to keep them all in one shapefile/layer file and have them ordered correctly.

Any suggestions would be much appreciated! Thanks.
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Occasional Contributor III
Instead of a shapefile, I would convert it into a feature class using subtypes. Each vegetation class will be a subtype.  For example, our agency has a condominium layer (feature class) and each floor is a subtype.  We have 14 floors so 14 subtypes.  Some polygons overlap (like floors 2 and up on top of floor 1) while others do not, like only having one floor.  Some floors have a deck or balcony, so the polygons aren't always exactly on top of each other, just like your data.  You set the subtypes so that floor 3 is always on top floor 2 not floor 3 over floor 7, etc. I think this might help solve your problem.  Subtypes are easy to edit as well.


Working with Subtypes:

Quick tour of subtypes:

Creating Subtypes:
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New Contributor II

ArcGIS User‌ I realize this is a SUPER old post, but I am new to ArcMap and trying to find a way to create a condominium feature class with selectable floors so that the drafters can select and isolate one floor at a time to work on.  I was hoping the condominium feature class you mentioned above could help.  Can you please send me more information and perhaps some screenshots?

Thank you!

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