Better integration of Grid Index Features and Data Driven Pages

392
3
07-07-2011 10:10 AM
Status: Open
Labels (1)
emmornile1
Occasional Contributor II

Data Driven Pages are a great tool that makes GIS work for the users.  Here are some suggestions for improvement.

1) Add the Grid Index Features tool to the Data Driven Pages toolbar.  The functionality of these two tools working together is important, and should be accessible from the same location.
2) Automatically add the data fields to the feature class created by the Grid Index Features tool.  The Setup Data Driven Pages popup can take advantage of several fields, but only two are created with the Grid Index Features tool.
    a) PageScale, could have a check box to populate field with current scale, or user choice
    b) PageRotation, 0 would be a fine default, or use the current data frame rotation, or user choice
    c) PageSpatialReference, options could be the data frame, the feature class, or user choice
    d) PageText, this is field is not specifically mentioned in the DDP setup and any field can be used to insert text, but having a field added would make the process flow better.
3) Add the ability for the Grid Index Features to have overlap.  The default of no overlap is good, but sometimes it is important to actually see where the edge of each page is so annotation can be placed to avoid being cut off when the map pages are produced.  The overlap could be specified as a % of each page, specified in page units, or in map units.

Thanks for this great tool, I hope the next version will be even better.

Emmor

3 Comments
JakeKrall

I agree with your suggestions!  Too much functionality was left out of DDP that was used in DS MapBook.  In general, it's always disappointing to see tools used in previously releases keep getting dropped to "future" releases!

Jean-FrançoisMeunier1
Yes, overlap is an important feature to add to the tool !
RichStrazzo
I was going to post a new idea similar to what Emmor posted, but figured I had better check to see if anyone had already posted one on this topic.  To my amazement, I found Emmor's idea and completely agree with all of the improvements he suggested.  In fact, we had an ESRI Partner build a custom "Create Grid Index" tool that does pretty much everything Emmor asked for in his idea.  I would love to provide ESRI the code for this tool so they can incorporate it as a new tool in the Data Driven Tools toolbar. 

ESRI used to have the Enhancement Request support site where I would post ideas for improvements to ArcGIS and a support person would reply to user suggestions at some point, but they replaced it with ArcGIS Ideas.  I hope we get enough points for ESRI to consider my offer of providing the code for the custom "Create Grid Index" tool and incorporate it the ArcGIS tool library and as a button on the Data Driven Tools toolbar.

Thanks - Rich