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Dynamic labelling in ArcGIS Online

10-19-2016 06:34 AM
New Contributor III

I have a hosted Feature Layer within a web map in ArcGIS Online which I shared from ArcMap. I've created labels in my web map but there doesn't appear to be any way to adjust placement properties. Where two labels occur close together, rather than applying a conflict resolution and placing them both, one of the labels is removed from the map. What's the simplest way around this? I want all of my feature labels to display at the country scale - is it possible?

13 Replies
Occasional Contributor

Have you ever found a solution or workaround for this?  I am now having the same quandary and it seems so basic that ESRI should address it.

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New Contributor III

I'm afraid not, Nava. I agree - it seems very basic, but from my limited web GIS knowledge I'm not sure how difficult it is to implement technically.

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Esri Frequent Contributor


Check out the labeling considerations in the help to find out more about how ArcGIS Online labeling deals with conflicts.

The map viewer places as many labels on the map as possible without overlapping them. Thus, in areas where features are tightly clustered, some features may not get labeled.

Create labels—ArcGIS Online Help | ArcGIS 

Does your data update frequently or is the data static? If it's static, you can look into creating the labels in ArcGIS Desktop and publish a tile layer.


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MVP Regular Contributor

Where two labels occur close together, rather than applying a conflict resolution and placing them both, one of the labels is removed from the map. What's the simplest way around this?

I am also having this issue but our data is dynamic. Any suggested workarounds or any update if Esri will be upgrading the web map labeling functionality? 


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New Contributor III

This has been a nightmare for me as well.

As a work around you may need to look at converting labels to annotation. That will allow you to move/ edit them to your desired locations . Of course this can be extremely cumbersome and impossible if you have +100s of labels. Then you should be able to host that label layer. I'm currently trying to remedy the exact same problems you are having.

What really needs to happen is to have AGOL recognize and use all the great dynamic label rules, placement, etc.. offered in ArcPro/ ArcMap. If this has been suggested I would definitely up vote it!

If others have more to offer on the subject I'm open.

New Contributor III

Just tried hosting an annotated layer with no avail.

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Esri Contributor

Hi Dave, 

You may have already seen this one but here is an Idea for this functionality. 



Esri Contributor

Hi @Thomas Starnes, @Amanda Huber, @Dave Stewart, @Nava Sheer

Because labeling is pretty intensive process, ArcGIS online indeed has very simple labeling parameters to keep the load on the browser light. I would normally suggest using ArcGIS Desktop to leverage the advanced labeling parameters then publishing a Hosted tile layer,  That tile layer preserves the design as a raster, and can be used as a basemap reference. Obviously this output layer is static. So some kind of periodic overwrite workflow might help with updating that display if that's an option for you. 

As for utilizing the the options in ArcGIS online for labels:

It sounds like one label that is not appearing at a country scale, does not have enough room. a few potential workarounds. 

- Applying a smaller text 

- Using a abbreviated attribute 

- Identifying the map objects graphically without text, like applying symbols and a legend

- Leaving Labels off until zooming in

- Rather consume and edit services In ArcGIS Pro to leverage desktop labels. 

As for Ideas, I've not seen any specifically regarding options for placement, and/or conflict detection for ArcGIS online if someone wanted to help get that conversation started,  The following posts might help with that discussion aswell. 

More options/controls on labeling features on webmaps, such as scale dependency and stacking 

Dynamic Map Services in ArcGIS Online  

Custom Arcade Expression removes duplicate labels 


New Contributor III

I have a similar beef, but it deals less with label conflict and more with dynamic labeling at different scales. What I'm finding is that unlike ArcMap and ArcPro, when I zoom into the map and have two or three polygon layers whose labels I want to see, unless I'm zoomed into the centroid, or geographic center, of that polygon, I don't see the label, because that appears to be the rule for where the label is placed. It would be really awesome if I didn't have to pan to the centroid or click the layer to find out what the polygon layer is and instead had the label draw inside the polygon, regardless of where or how far in I've zoomed the map (thus making the labels truly dynamic). This is especially frustrating when manually searching for an address, zooming into that location, and then finding that it's neither on near the centroid of the polygon. Am I missing the solution or settings for this? I've gone back into "Manage Labels" for each layer, but it seems the options are limited to Text settings (which attribute serves as the label), Font settings, and Visible Range. Any ideas for workarounds?