Fat Maps in ArcMap

CDC Obesity
From CDC.

Unofficial Texas State Motto: Thank God for Mississippi!
(Molly Ivins)

I had to make similar maps for state statistics a few years ago. It was actually a bit of a pain in ArcMap. I didn’t want to shrink and move Alaska and Hawaii just to make it look right, so I made a layout with three dataframes (CONUS, Alaska and Hawaii). But then it got to be a pain synchronizing the renderers for each dataframe. I ended up writing code to synch the renderers. If there were a tool out of the box in ArcMap that does this I could’ve been out exercising instead. I wonder, would having multiple layers referencing the same instance of a renderer cause bad side effects?


3 comments so far

  1. Thomas Emge on


    you have the option to copy the renderer across different layers.
    Right-click on the layer, select the Properties entry from the context menu. In the Layer Properties dialog switch to the Symbology tab. In the top right corner you see the Import… button. From there you can import the symbology from other layers in the document. For vector layers it works across data frames if I remember correctly.

  2. Ben Slater on

    But then if you change the renderer in one data frame, you’d have to go through that import process again for the other two frames. That gets annoying if your map is going through a lengthy review process.

    I’ve found it easiest to just leave Alaska and Hawaii off such maps. Nobody really cares about them anyways!

  3. Kirk Kuykendall on

    The Arcmap user in my case didn’t have time to learn such details. He just wanted to adjust parameters in his excel model, recalculate, then push a button in Arcmap to see a map of the results. I ended up using GetObject to copy from excel to the featureclass, then once the user adjusted the class breaks, he would press another button to clone the CONUS renderer and apply to the hawaii and Alaska dataframes. While he was tweaking the renderer though, before pressing the second button, Alaska and Hawaii were out of synch, which looked a bit kludgy.

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