symbol from values in attribute table (label-like behaviour)

Discussion created by drc_ on Oct 26, 2012

I have a feature class with ~6500 points with a two letter country code in the attributes and I want to symbolize the points with the country code, somewhat like the UN-style bumper stickers with county codes some people put on their cars (white oval, black outline, 3 letter country code in black text inside the oval). My first solution was to use labels and this worked fine until I published the data as a service (see below). Now I believe I need to create an actual symbol or representation derived from the country code attributes and I haven't figured out how to do this. Any ideas?

The feature class will be published as an ArcGIS 10.1 map service for consumption in ArcMap and web clients (Javascript API). I want users of the web client to be able to click the features in the web map to open an InfoWindow popup; this behaviour requires adding the service to the web map as a FeatureLayer as opposed to DynamicMapService or other layer type. This creates a problem because while FeatureLayers do inherit the symbology from the map service, they do not inherit the labels. For this reason I want to create data-driven symbols similar to how a label is created.

Can I convert labels to symbols or representations? The 'Other Route Hwy' or 'Block Number' label styles in 10.1 are perfect. I tried annotations but the reference scale became a problem since the annotations are only usable at scales close to the reference scale.