Storing Distance and Direction Units in the Record

11-10-2021 07:06 AM
Occasional Contributor II

Good day,

Direction Units and Distances units are currently set at the project level for entering data and at the layer for display by an Arcade expression using a label expression.

Is there any chance that it could be set at the "Record" level by having fields to store them like in the previous ArcMap Parcel Fabric?

We have "records" represented by "Survey Plans" and they are in "Quadrant Bearing" or "North Azimuth" for the direction unit and "Feet" or "Meters" for the distance unit. 

Having it at the project is an all or nothing and we need to manually control the units at project for data entering and at the layer using a label expression for display. 

For one "survey plan" (record), all the direction and distance units are the same for that record, but the next record could be a totally different. If it was at the "record" level, we could control the input and display of the units better using these fields. 

I also think that the scale factor and bearing rotation should be at the record level, so you can re-apply/re-calculate the COGO values from the geometry using "the record" and not set anything manually.

Thank you,

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1 Reply
Esri Regular Contributor


The units in Pro are set at the project level. If you would like to have the units set in the Map level, you can submit an idea in the ArcGIS Pro Ideas location:


Why do we store the measurements in the units of the spatial reference?

1. It allows you to exchange data with others knowing that the units are correct

2. It allows us to do the correct unit conversion when you project the data between coordinate systems that use different linear units.


Why storing units on the record is problematic?

1. If you provide a subset of lines to someone - they will not know which units the data is in.

2. Too many places to store units (project, record) will make it confusing. Which one trumps the other? why do I don't see my updates reflected?...


If you want to see different units labeled in the same map, you can add a 'LabelUnit' field and use Arcade to convert it to the target unit of interest + add a postfix to note which units those are in.

If you want to set the unit on the record and have it trickle to the associated lines, you can use an Attribute Rule for that. Every time you create or modify a line it can use the CreatedByRecord GUID to find the record and copy the unit. You can also apply the same logic to scale and rotation.

We also had a few meetups on Arcade and Attribute Rules that might have shown similar examples and have been uploaded to the parcel fabric community.


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