We want to display protected areas (different polygons Feature Classes), as a heatmap. Since the protected area perimeters are of different sizes, it is not advisable to convert the polygons into points (1 point = 1 polygon). In addition, the polygons overlap.
How could the protected areas nevertheless be represented as a heat map (or similar)? A perimeter-sharp representation is not desirable.
#Heat Maps, protected areas#
Barry why are you focussed on doing a heatmap? If you have areas of overlap, then you can 'union' the layers so that the overlaps can be identified as belong to 2 or more protected zones. The number of zones could be calculated as a field to use as a 'weighting' field should you want to symbolized with a weighted attribute.
If it is the distinct boundaries that is an issue, then that is the reality and obscuring those boundaries actually hides that fact.
Heat maps have their place, but IMHO, It don't think this is one of those.
Perhaps if you have a visual outlining the issue, it may help with other suggestions
One of the things you could do is using the tool Create Random Points—Help | ArcGIS Desktop . This allows you to specify a constraining_feature_class and use a field based on your polygon area with the number of points to be generated for each polygon.