Data Driven Pages - Still have a way to go

336
12
12-09-2009 08:38 AM
deleted-user-ATjHIWsdQYmT
Regular Contributor
Overall, I would say that the "Data Driven Pages" Tools are a pretty good first attempt at map production and automation.  I think that several will agree that some of the functionality of DSMapBook is Absolutely Necessary to make Data Driven Pages 100%.  In my opinion, some of the critical functionality still required are:

1.  The Map Book TOC panel.  I find this MUCH easier to navigate than a small toolbar with arrows.  Most often I have ~175 pages in a map book.  Scrolling up and down in a list is much easier than clicking left/right or typing in (guessing) at a number.  Also, in the panel you can manipulate each individual page.  In many instances I don't want to print/export every page. I just click off the ones I don't want.  you can also print/export one single page.

2.  Labeling Neighbor tiles is much easier.  No GeoProcessing tools are needed to add fields to your index layer for dynamic labeling.  It Just works.

3.  Select Tile When Drawing.  SUPER handy when you want to highlight just the boundary of that page.

4.  Supressing tiles that don't contain data from specific layers.  Many times I'll do a definition query on a layer to show only specific features (i.e. Show me only FEMA flood zones AE).  Then create map series pages for only those tiles.  Easy as Pie in DSMapbook.  Can't do w/ data driven pages.

5.  Export each individual page to it's own PDF.  This is really handy when you want to link to a pdf on a website.  Also, a PDF of 175 tiles at 15MB each can make one heck of a large PDF File.

Overall, I think that Data Driven Pages show promise, but still have some ways to go.  Oh, I would say that I do REALLY like Dynamic Text Labeling.  Great added feature!
0 Kudos
12 Replies
TedCronin
MVP Honored Contributor
Overall, I would say that the "Data Driven Pages" Tools are a pretty good first attempt at map production and automation.  I think that several will agree that some of the functionality of DSMapBook is Absolutely Necessary to make Data Driven Pages 100%.  In my opinion, some of the critical functionality still required are:

1.  The Map Book TOC panel.  I find this MUCH easier to navigate than a small toolbar with arrows.  Most often I have ~175 pages in a map book.  Scrolling up and down in a list is much easier than clicking left/right or typing in (guessing) at a number.  Also, in the panel you can manipulate each individual page.  In many instances I don't want to print/export every page. I just click off the ones I don't want.  you can also print/export one single page.

2.  Labeling Neighbor tiles is much easier.  No GeoProcessing tools are needed to add fields to your index layer for dynamic labeling.  It Just works.

3.  Select Tile When Drawing.  SUPER handy when you want to highlight just the boundary of that page.

4.  Supressing tiles that don't contain data from specific layers.  Many times I'll do a definition query on a layer to show only specific features (i.e. Show me only FEMA flood zones AE).  Then create map series pages for only those tiles.  Easy as Pie in DSMapbook.  Can't do w/ data driven pages.

5.  Export each individual page to it's own PDF.  This is really handy when you want to link to a pdf on a website.  Also, a PDF of 175 tiles at 15MB each can make one heck of a large PDF File.

Overall, I think that Data Driven Pages show promise, but still have some ways to go.  Oh, I would say that I do REALLY like Dynamic Text Labeling.  Great added feature!


I am one that agrees with Andrew, in that DDP has a way to go.
0 Kudos
KimOllivier
Regular Contributor II
I also use mapbook extensively to generate atlases and also to render raster images for an image catalog.

This is still hard to get right, I have to revert to page imperial units to match dots-per-inch exactly to get the right number of pixels in a page with no borders etc.

An option to export the world file of the page when exporting as an image would save me another painful calculation step in Python, using an index, finding the corners of the page and doing my own transform.

When you get down to the details to look at the edges of tiles exported like this  it is clear that the X and Y scales are slightly off, so the tiles are not seamless. So yet another external package adjust to rescale, resize and reclip to extract out an accuractly scaled and registered image.
0 Kudos
MichaelGrossman
Esri Contributor
Andrew,

Thanks for the extensive feedback and good analysis.  Here are my comments and recommended solutions:
[INDENT]
1. The Map Book TOC panel. I find this MUCH easier to navigate than a small toolbar with arrows. Most often I have ~175 pages in a map book. Scrolling up and down in a list is much easier than clicking left/right or typing in (guessing) at a number.


Yes, I have heard this from other beta users as well.  We will investigate improvements in a future release.  It may not be a built in part of the Table Of Contents.  One idea might be a dockable window with columns, like a table view, to help clearly display the page name, number, and maybe other info.


Also, in the panel you can manipulate each individual page. In many instances I don't want to print/export every page. I just click off the ones I don't want. you can also print/export one single page.


The 9.4 implementation relies on feature selection to accomplish this. To print or export a subset of pages, you have a wide palette of selection tools available for building the exact set of pages you want to output.  At time of print of export, just set the Pages mode to "Selected" and go.
read more about it here: Exporting Data Driven Pages

2. Labeling Neighbor tiles is much easier. No GeoProcessing tools are needed to add fields to your index layer for dynamic labeling. It Just works.


In some area of the implementation we compromised "automaticness" in order to improve reliability and performance.  Neighbor page text was one of those things.

3. Select Tile When Drawing. SUPER handy when you want to highlight just the boundary of that page.

This was a very important requirement and something we still support.  You achieve the effect by adding a copy of the index feature layer to the top of the TOC.  Set it to render with an outline in the highlight color you want and set the fill color to None.  You then turn on the Page Definition query to make it render only for the current page.  Do this via the layer's Definition Query tab.  Here's the doc to learn more: Using Page Definition Queries


4. Supressing tiles that don't contain data from specific layers. Many times I'll do a definition query on a layer to show only specific features (i.e. Show me only FEMA flood zones AE). Then create map series pages for only those tiles. Easy as Pie in DSMapbook. Can't do w/ data driven pages.

The first way to filter is to do it at tile generation time.  Use the Grid Index Features GP tool to generate your index tiles and use the Intersecting features option.

Another way to filter is via selection.  If you want to do a temporary filter to selectively print or export, use the select by location command and print in Selected mode.  This workflow can be very powerful, because the selection framework allows you to build up selections with lots of criteria, so you could print only pages that fit a query like "FEMA flood zones AE, only if they contain parcels with Residential Zoning" etc.

A third way to filter is via a regular definition query on the index layer.  If you only want pages for "FEMA flood zones AE", use the flood zones as your index layer and set the definition query for "flood zones AE" and refresh data driven pages.

5. Export each individual page to it's own PDF. This is really handy when you want to link to a pdf on a website. Also, a PDF of 175 tiles at 15MB each can make one heck of a large PDF File.

There's a really simple arcpy.mapping python script that does exactly this.  Copy it from the help, paste into notepad, save as a ".py" and run it from the Python WindowIncidentally, this is also a really great intro to the world of arcpy.mapping scripts, which can be used to create complete map books exported to any format you want.

[/INDENT]


Please keep the grat feedback coming.

Sincerely,
Michael G.
0 Kudos
Gert-JanVan_der_Weijden
New Contributor III
mgrossman;2770 wrote:
Andrew,


Thanks for the extensive feedback and good analysis.  Here are my comments and recommended solutions:
[INDENT]

There's a really simple arcpy.mapping python script that does exactly this.  Copy it from the help, paste into notepad, save as a ".py" and run it from the Python WindowIncidentally, this is also a really great intro to the world of arcpy.mapping scripts, which can be used to create complete map books exported to any format you want.
[/INDENT]

No doubt about the simplicity of this pythonscript, but I have quite a number of colleagues who don't want to know about the existance of Python at all (and to admit: I don't want them to know about Python as well. Data Driven Pages are valuable to "out-of-the-box" ArcGIS Desktop users
0 Kudos
deleted-user-ATjHIWsdQYmT
Regular Contributor
I think that Michael Grossman does a great job answering some of my concerns.  Having said that, It'd still be nice to have a lot of this built into the Data Driven Pages Toolbar.  I am a big fan of compartmentalizing things.  I don't want to have to jump to 3 places in order to do one function (see answer to question 3).  I am quite versed in programming, although not python particularly.  I am sure I could pick it up and figure it out rather easily. 

As "geejee" says, none of my users will even have a clue how to load or run a python script.  A simple "export" button on the toolbar with an option of "PDF" and further "one document per page" or "all pages one document" is much more clear.

Again, I really like what I see thus far, but there is a lot more I think that can be done.  Please continue to use DS Mapbook as a roadmap for what users are looking for in a map automation tool.
0 Kudos
SandyHannum
New Contributor
I have extensively used DS Mapbooks for years and was initially excited to hear it was to be incorporated into the program.
However, during my experiences beta testing, it is in no way ready for prime time.
I sincerely hope we will be able to use the DS mapbook extra to make our mapbooks. (anyone know?)
No existing mapbook works (I can understand that though).
I have made several mapbook pages ok, but have yet to successfully make what's called in DSmapbook "Identifier Frames". this is one of the great features to me and I am stumped. Is there something I am missing?
thanks for your time
0 Kudos
DavidWatkins
Esri Contributor
To support the functionality of Identifier Frames, a new data frame extent option, Other Data Frame, has been added that makes it possible to synchronize the extent of your main data frame with the extent of one or more additional data frames. If you pan and zoom in the main data frame it will automatically pan and zoom in the additional data frames. You can use this new extent option to create dynamic locator maps. Additional enhancements have been added to Clip to Shape, Extent Indicators and Definition Queries to make if possible to highlight and display your index area in  many different ways.

Also, some of you have concerns about Python. The Python scripts can, and probably should, be depolyed as a geoprocessing script tool. These are tools that are configured with interface that accept input parameters, and run just like a geoprocessing tool.  One of the new things in 9.4/10 is the ability to take any script tool and drag it onto a toolbar. So, once you create a tool for say, exporting each map to a PDF, you can add this as a button and no one needs to know that Python is driving it behind the scenes.

Thanks for all the feedback and comments,
David
0 Kudos
SandyHannum
New Contributor
David, thanks for the quick reply. I worked my way through several topics here and have successfully made the "other data frame" sort of do what I want. but haven't gotten the extent to work the way I want it to. perhaps it's a bad thing to try and figure out Friday afternoon.
Thanks a  lot though, much food for thought and will get back to it next week,
cheers
Sandy
0 Kudos
GaryBarden
New Contributor III
Thanks all for the helpful info in this thread.

For the most part I've been able to use the DDP tool much the same way I've used the map book. The only part I've not been able to figure out is using the Page Definition to only show the area for the selected page.

We will often generate the same map for a series of point locations with a buffer around the site. With the MapBook we set the symbol of the index page to "blank" and then set the selection to the symbol we want to show the buffer in. This worked great with MapBook set to show the selected buffer.

From the description of how to use the Page Definition it sounds like we are trying to achieve something similar to the approach used with MapBook, but i have not been able to get it to work.

Has anyone been able to use the Page Definition to show just the selected page?

Thanks

Gary Barden
0 Kudos