Dynamic symbology or Attribute driven symbology: How is it done?

03-09-2016 09:24 AM
New Contributor

Two dilemmas I have found myself trying to figure out.

1.Is there a way to configure ArcMap with an Advanced level license (using 10.2.2 or 10.3.1) to display multiple created/or defined picture marker symbology based on single or dual attribute parameters?

2.If so can it be configured to run as soon as arc launches or within certain gdb and/or .mxd that are opened when dragged and dropped or when Files are opened from a folder path workflow?

Example 1: You drag a file into ArcMap and based on certain attribute(s) an icon other than a default dot or line appears. The marker/ symbol would be based attribute field description. The end result would be if the field said boat then a predefined style symbol for boat that an analyst wanted to use would display on visually on the map without having to manually go through properties and then to symbology option. (not sure if this can be triggered when ArcMap launches)

Example 2: Can a Python script is written so when files are added the process of icon/symbology determination is done by using no more than two known attribute field entries within a attribute table.(not sure if this has to be in one of the field cells or is it something that needs to be done in Model builder).

I figured out the first question somewhat based on manually assigning Picture marker png files to points. I went into properties, opened up symbology tab. I then defined the needed attribute fields and assigned a png marker that correlated symbol data field. Still trying to crack the process on automatic generation without manual intervention like above.

I have looked into layer files. I am trying to do something that goes beyond manual interaction or static data. I want to make this process a dynamic selection of symbology. If a field description (text string) changes, a predestinated layer file would not be able to detect that. I hope what I will accomplish will put an even greater emphasis metadata/ attribute and database standardization. But, I will revisit layer file options as I am still learning and don't want to limit what I know or try.

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2 Replies
Regular Contributor III

The only way I know of is to create and save Save To Layer File—Help | ArcGIS for Desktop you could then add the layer files with the symbology already in place.

MVP Honored Contributor

You can make a Python add-in Application Extension that fires every time ArcMap is open (via the startup(self) function), verifies whether it's one of the desired mxds, and applies your symbology from a layer file (as Wes mentions):

Extension class—Help | ArcGIS for Desktop