Offset Points in Congested Areas

08-02-2018 08:07 AM
Status: Open
Labels (1)
New Contributor III

I work in commercial real estate, and frequently find myself mapping locations of competing and complementary retailers. Regardless of the symbols I use for the points, inevitably I find certain areas overwhelmed with dots (or squares or whatever). There should be a way to offset the point from the map while retaining a tether (for lack of a better word) to the actual geopoint. In locations of Main Street & Main Street, where there is a Starbucks and a Dunkin Donuts and a Krispy Kreme and a McDonalds and a Panera and a Brueggers Bagels and another Starbucks, this feature would be tremendously helpful. As it is now, I am forced to export my map to Photoshop, add the points back onto the map and draw the lines back to the central geopoint/intersection, effectively doubling the time it takes me to make a single map.


Out of curiosity, at approximately what scale are you making your maps?


I create maps on varying scales. I can do a map showing the entire Cleveland market or just a section. It depends on the situation/client. My main concern is when I need to show the entire market. Retailers want to visualize all of their locations versus their competition on a market basis.


Have you considered selling your users on webmaps in lieu of paper maps? It would be some work to set up, but using a combination of different layers displayed at different scales you might be able to accomplish this task. For example, when zoomed all the way out to the market area, show only your customer's existing locations, and maybe 1 or 2 of the major competitors' locations. On zoom, you could turn on some more competitors locations.


Is this a request for desktop (ArcGIS Pro, ArcMap) or ArcGIS Online?  

As Joshua mentions, web maps are a great solution for cases like this, and can even use cluster rendering Configure clustering—ArcGIS Online Help | ArcGIS 

If your presentations are printed paper maps, then this is a labeling issue.  We have an enhancement request logged as ENH-000113905: Provide better control and fitting strategies of leader lines in ArcGIS Pro where the use case is exactly what you're describing.  You could call in to technical support to get attached to that request.

If the presentations are given from a computer, I'd follow Joshua's recommendation of setting up web maps.


The overwhelming majority of my maps are done for retail clients. Because web maps are public, with no known way of implementing any sort of confidentiality, it would not be in the clients' best interest to utilize web maps as the strategies shown in the maps are proprietary information. As soon as I publish one of those maps, I am violating the trust that they have placed in us. If it were possible to share those web maps with the client -and only the client- then I would do so. But web maps are shared with the entire Esri universe. 

As has been explained to me, trying to sell the clients on web maps would involve having them (1) purchasing the appropriate software/licenses to be able to access the web maps; (2) hoping they have personnel on staff that can actually use the platform appropriately; and (3) inevitably losing my valuable time having to explain the platform to them. They have retained us to provide this service, not to force them to spend thousands of dollars unnecessarily to retrieve information in order to get around the limits of the platform. If there is a better way, no one at Esri has been able to provide me with one. web maps for me.


This is a request for ArcGIS Pro. I barely use ArcGIS Online due to the limited ability to print acceptable looking maps

Please refer to my response to Joshua regarding why I am unable to use web maps.

As for presentations, the typical method of presenting material to the client is via PDF (or PowerPoint [per client request]). Maps, demographic reports, site plans, aerials, other information is compiled into one PDF. That PDF is usually a precursor to a site tour of the market. Translation: broker + clients in a car for six hours driving around the market looking at vacant space. No computer except smartphones and possibly tablets. 


... but you could have a web map that is not shared with anyone (only accessible to you) and present to your clients on a smart phone or tablet.  


Kory Kramer‌ good effort, but I don't think we/you're gonna sell her on the concept. Some workflows still require paper and #agol‌ may not be the best fit. Personally, every time I've moved clients from paper to web they've been curious at first and then they can't get enough. YMMV.