Create a reference map showing the extent of multiple maps

02-04-2022 11:10 PM
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New Contributor II

Hi there,

I am working on a project which has a large number of data points (for trees) over a large site.

Due the size of the site I need to break it down into 20 maps which I have done through the use of bookmarks.  I have included a small overview map in the corner and shown the extent with the extent indicator.

However, I would still like to create a single large map that shows the extent of each of the bookmarks so that the reader knows exactly which map to go to to find the tree.

Is there a way to do this?





7 Replies
Occasional Contributor III


this is a bit of a workaround:

Instead of / on top of using bookmarks, you create a polygon feature class with rectangles that show the extent of each map / page. You can scroll through the map series, activate the map, draw a rectangle of the extent, close activation, go to the next page, and so forth. This feature class can then be drawn with just outlines in your overview map.

New Contributor II

This worked really well thank you

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MVP Esteemed Contributor
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New Contributor II

Thank you for the response.  I have been using map series but I can't figure out how to create a single large reference map to show how all the individual series fit together.

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Occasional Contributor II
You could create a grid using the tessellate tool, add it to a new map and symbolize the grid squares to identify the individual map areas, and then label the maps with the associated grid square from the reference map.
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Esri Regular Contributor

Hi Toby, 

You might be interested in the following thread -

Hope this helps, 


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MVP Notable Contributor

You could use model builder to automate the extraction of the Feature Class extents and store that in a new Feature Class.


The key to this model is simply setting the group option in the minimum bounding geometry to ALL.

End result of this model is a new Feature Class of envelopes, 1 envelope for each layer in the map.  Note this model works/iterates with different geometry types.