Smooth line with symbol effects.

01-15-2021 12:04 PM
Status: Open
Labels (1)
Occasional Contributor

It would be nice to have 'Simplify Line' and 'Smooth line' in the symbol effects. 

This would replace to need to use either of those tools in cartography toolset if it could be done dynamically as an effect. The existing effects seem to incorporate somewhat complex geometry operations, so it seems like this could be possible - though I'm sure it would impact performance on a large line datasets. 

I believe QGIS has some functionality like this for smoothing. 

One use case - If I have trails in an enterprise database, and I want those trails to look better on the map, I wouldn't have to export data using those tools just to produce one map. 



Status changed to: Open

We had smooth and simplify effects in ArcMap geometric effects with Representations. We didn't bring these forward in ArcGIS Pro because they were not used often due to problematic results. Why?: Effects are applied on a feature by feature basis and while smooth or simplify may work fine for a single isolated feature, they can quickly introduce conflicts and overlaps when applied individually to many close features. The smooth and simplify geoprocessing tools handle these cases by considering topological conflicts and handling cases like coincident edges.

We'd be interested in hearing out cases where you still feel this functionality would be valuable given the explanation above.


That does makes sense. There would need to be a certain amount of topological cleanliness for it to work well, and dense line data may not work well. 

In my case, I have trails across the state in an enterprise gdb. I might be making maps at all kinds of scales to show those trails. Depending on the scale, I may want them to appear simpler or smoother for a better looking map. I could use the geoprocessing tools, but then I'm adding the step of creating data outside the enterprise db, possibly multiple times because I don't get the parameters just right the first time. Having it in the symbology effects would make it easier to adjust and find the right parameters. Or say the scale of the map has to change for something else, and now I want the trails simplified more or less than before. I'm always looking for ways to not have to take data out of the gdb, so there isn't something that becomes stale later when data change. 

This kind of situation would apply well to streams in my use case as well. Possibly contours, depending on the source and the scale. Could combine with a definition query to reduce contour interval and then smooth as needed.