Maximum feature size for labeling

06-29-2010 03:33 AM
Status: Open
New Contributor II
Maplex has "Minimum feature size for labeling" option. It's the only way to consider VISIBLE size of features (in page/screen units) when labeling them. Sometimes it's needed to divide features into several classes by their size and label these classes with different settings (font size, placement parameters etc.). For example, lakes. Using "Shape_Area" field in SQL Query is not appropriate, 'cause:

1. When you change projection, areas are also changed. So you need to correct all your SQL queries.
2. When using GCS for layers, Shape_Area is something mysterious and hard to interpret (square degrees).
3. In multi-scale maps you have to use different shape areas for layers with different scale ranges.

It'll be great to implement an option "Maximum feature size for labeling". So the cartographer would have an opportunity to define label classes using minumum and maximum VISIBLE feature sizes (in mm). Scale dependency will be eliminated. Amount of work will be greatly reduced.


Funny I now encounter this very old idea, that is probably dead in the waters...

This is really a missing cartographic option in Maplex that could be of great use in specific cases. There are definitely cases where you want to have an upper limit for a features size for labelling.

E.g., if a feature is bigger than the size of a printed paper, putting a label somewhere smack in the middle of a page with no visible relation to what the feature is it belongs to, isn't useful. In these cases, you may want to limit the max size of (printed) features that get labeled by a label class, and maybe create a secondary label class with "repeat" labels each e.g. 10 cm using the Maplex option for this with the minimum size similar to the max feature size of the first label class, to show the feature actually extends across the page. However, if there is no "upper / max" limit for feature size, the single label of the first feature class, will still appear in the middle of the page among the "repeat" labels, which looks weird.


This idea has been resurrected once before and here I am resurrecting it again.

I have a case where I'm wanting to label a set of line features with a type code, but some are as long as a city block, and some are as short as a car width.

Where I'm zoomed enough and/or where the features are long enough, I'd rather see the full name, but for the ones where that's not practical, I'd prefer (manually-calculated) abbreviation.

The long name is easy - I just set the "minimum feature size" in the label properties, and I only get it where I want it.  The abbreviated name is the problem, though; because there's no "maximum feature size", it shows up on everything, which makes the labels on the big features redundant.