Symbolizing One (pole) to Many (signs) (for a Sign Inventory)

Discussion created by HealdsburgCA on Mar 28, 2014
Latest reply on Nov 19, 2015 by peterneubauer
Mapping road/traffic signs is becoming a hot topic in the world of government transportation as there is a federal mandate in the US to have them in a managed database, which translates into mapping them in the GIS (http://safety.fhwa.dot.gov/roadway_dept/night_visib/retrotoolkit/pdfs/AB08H243-2Ellison.pdf).  The LGIM provides schema for a sign pole feature class and a sign table which is then related to the unique pole ID (http://help.arcgis.com/en/localgovernment/datadictionary.html#FeatureClassPole, http://help.arcgis.com/en/localgovernment/datadictionary.html#TableSign).   I'm glad to see that Esri has established a great method for handling street sign data using a one (pole) to many (signs) relationship.

A common problem comes up when trying to map the street sign table for decision makers and field crews.  Ideally all signs would be represented by an image of their MUTCD standard design at the pole location.  This is easy enough, except that many poles have assemblies of multiple signs.  To map the signs, the GIS needs to clearly symbolize (or label using Unicode with a symbol font?) multiple signs at the same pole location without stacking the symbols on top of each other.  This issue gets a bit more complex as it would be ideal if the symbols looked similar to/stacked in the order of the sign assemblies actual arrangement out in the field.  Attached is an example of this being achieved with non-Esri software.

Are there any out of the box tools provided by Esri for symbolizing the many in a one to many relationship?  Any thoughts on how to achieve something like this?  It would be ideal if the solution was functional with web maps served via ArcServer.

As a side note for the Esri peeps: it would be great if the LGIM came with domains set up for MUTCD sign types. Additionally it would be great if the Esri transportation font included all MUTCD and state MUTCD signs, it would also be great to find a printable table of the Unicode characters for all Esri fonts but specifically the Esri transportation font.