Showing changes in a boundary line

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04-10-2014 07:33 AM
ScottLouque
New Contributor III
Hi
I am trying to show the changes in a boundary line from different years. I have already put all the polygons in and made each years boundary a different color. I tried changing the Display settting to make one year transparent which is kinda what I want but this just makes one line transparent and I want to show each line in a solid color. Can someone lend me a hand on how to accomplish this task?

Thanks
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RichardFairhurst
MVP Honored Contributor
Could you show a picture of what you currently have set up with the boundaries only?  I have no idea of what approach would work best, because I have no idea how the polygons are changing over time.  Some approaches may work better than others depending on whether the changes are dramatic or subtle.  Also, if the trend of the polygon is to consistently expand or contract over the six year period that may allow you to use a different visualization approach than if the changes are a set of random expansions and contractions mixed together.

Color alone is not likely to work.  You also will probably need different boundary and/or fill patterns as well.  If you use fills, try hatching rather than solid colors.  Transparency does not work well if there is a lot of mixing of the legend colors due to lots of overlap, and hatching lets you keep the colors more pure and distinguishable in the overlapping areas.  However, if the fills only distract from or confuse the boundary changes, then either the fill should not be used or it should be toned way down.  The boundaries should definitely be much more intense than the fills and may have to be handled separately in different layers for the same polygon.

Don't be afraid to create separate layers for the boundaries and the fills of the same polygon.  Nothing prevents you from showing the same polygon in 2 or more different layers if that set up would help you separate out multiple effects that bring out the feature's characteristics the way you want them.  Also different forms of the polygons may be needed for the boundaries and the fills.  For example, you could make the boundaries based on the full polygons, but the fills could use a polygon hybrid that intersected the entire set of polygons together and that was attributed in such a way that you could emphasize the earliest or latest date or the date range of each separate overlapping fill area.

This is a complex cartographic challenge and cartography does not limit itself to just the pure original form of the object it is showing.  Cartographic effects often require multiple forms of the same object and distortions of reality which can be manipulated together in whatever way most clearly brings out the item being emphasized and that removes distractions.  The kinds of cartographic effects and the distortions of reality the cartographer may use often will change as the map scale changes as well.

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TrishRice
Occasional Contributor III
I have already put all the polygons in and made each years boundary a different color.

I want to show each line in a solid color.

Could you explain what you're trying to do some more please?  These two statements seem to conflict, unless we have a clear idea what the problem is.
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ScottLouque
New Contributor III
Could you explain what you're trying to do some more please?  These two statements seem to conflict, unless we have a clear idea what the problem is.


I have 6 different polygon features, each feature is a revision from the previous one. I want to show in one map each revision and the differences in the boundary of each polygon.

It just occurred to me that I may be able to do this by making each polygon 'no color' and just show the boundary line. I was trying to leave the polygons colored though.

Thanks
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RichardFairhurst
MVP Honored Contributor
Could you show a picture of what you currently have set up with the boundaries only?  I have no idea of what approach would work best, because I have no idea how the polygons are changing over time.  Some approaches may work better than others depending on whether the changes are dramatic or subtle.  Also, if the trend of the polygon is to consistently expand or contract over the six year period that may allow you to use a different visualization approach than if the changes are a set of random expansions and contractions mixed together.

Color alone is not likely to work.  You also will probably need different boundary and/or fill patterns as well.  If you use fills, try hatching rather than solid colors.  Transparency does not work well if there is a lot of mixing of the legend colors due to lots of overlap, and hatching lets you keep the colors more pure and distinguishable in the overlapping areas.  However, if the fills only distract from or confuse the boundary changes, then either the fill should not be used or it should be toned way down.  The boundaries should definitely be much more intense than the fills and may have to be handled separately in different layers for the same polygon.

Don't be afraid to create separate layers for the boundaries and the fills of the same polygon.  Nothing prevents you from showing the same polygon in 2 or more different layers if that set up would help you separate out multiple effects that bring out the feature's characteristics the way you want them.  Also different forms of the polygons may be needed for the boundaries and the fills.  For example, you could make the boundaries based on the full polygons, but the fills could use a polygon hybrid that intersected the entire set of polygons together and that was attributed in such a way that you could emphasize the earliest or latest date or the date range of each separate overlapping fill area.

This is a complex cartographic challenge and cartography does not limit itself to just the pure original form of the object it is showing.  Cartographic effects often require multiple forms of the same object and distortions of reality which can be manipulated together in whatever way most clearly brings out the item being emphasized and that removes distractions.  The kinds of cartographic effects and the distortions of reality the cartographer may use often will change as the map scale changes as well.

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ScottLouque
New Contributor III
Making seperate features of the 6 polygon features sounds like it may work. That way I can use that for a color scheme of the polygons and use the original 6 features to show where the boundary of the feature is. I'll try that and see if that works better.

Thanks so much for the help!
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RichardFairhurst
MVP Honored Contributor
Making seperate features of the 6 polygon features sounds like it may work. That way I can use that for a color scheme of the polygons and use the original 6 features to show where the boundary of the feature is. I'll try that and see if that works better.

Thanks so much for the help!


Along the way, please share a picture of your work in progress or final output, especially if you achieve some effect that works well for all or part of your problem.  That will be useful for everyone confronting a similar challenge.
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RichardFairhurst
MVP Honored Contributor
One other option is using Representations, especially where you want to do a cartographic distortion of the boundaries without actually distorting the underlying geometry.  Representations gives you more control over such things.  The interleaving of hatched boundary lines is also possible using Representations.  A boundary shared by all six years would probably be best represented by the interleaving of the earliest and latest dated boundary colors in a well aligned hatching design.  Representations may let you achieve that.

How far you take this and what approach you should favor depends on the amount of importance you place on this one map and the number of other areas this type of cartography needs to be applied to.  A high volume set of maps may need to rely on more generic steps that can be largely automated or scripted over approaches that involve a lot of custom work, while a small set of very important maps may warrant the time and expense of a highly customized workflow.
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ScottLouque
New Contributor III
Well my intent was just to build a simple map with 6 different shapefiles in it to show where the boundary line has moved with each revision to it. I don't think we need anything to complex.

Thanks for your help
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808707
by
New Contributor III
You could just have have a seperate Outline colour for each polygon and set the Fill Colour to 'no colour'.

You could also have a play around with some different outline symbols.

Click 'Edit Symbol' then 'Outline'.

Another idea might be to look into animation to show how the boundary changes over time.
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