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Create a map series

Map series gives you the ability to generate a set of output pages by taking a single layout and iterating over a set of map extents. The extents are defined by the features in a layer and are sometimes called tiles, sections, or areas of interest (AOI). The layer that defines the extents is referred to as an index layer. Any feature layer can serve as the index layer. You create and customize a map series by clicking the Map Series button List Map Series Pages on the Layout tab in the Page Setup group. The resulting Map Series dialog box allows you to choose the Map Series type, and set options for Index Layer, Optional Fields, and Map Extent.

Note:

Map Series is only supported for 2D maps; if your layout does not contain a 2D map, the Map Series button is disabled.

Steps to create a map series

  1. Ensure that there is a map frame on your layout.
  2. On the Layout tab, in the Page Setup group, click Map Series.
  3. On the Layout Properties dialog box, click Map Series.

    Map Series is enabled and Spatial is chosen by default.

  4. Under Index Layer, check the setting for the map frame. If this is not the map frame you want for the map series, choose a different map frame from the drop-down menu.
  5. Check the default for Layer. If this is not the layer you want to use as the Index Layer, choose a different layer from the drop-down menu.
  6. Check the default for the Name Field. If this is not the field you want to use to name your page, choose a different field from the drop-down menu.
  7. Check the default for the Sort Field. If this is not the field you want use to sort your pages, choose a different field from the drop-down menu.
  8. Under Optional Fields, check the default for Page Number. If this is not the field you want to use to get the page number for each page, choose a different field from the drop-down menu. Alternatively, choosing no field for page number will automatically generate page numbers, beginning with the Starting Page Number value.
  9. Under Optional Fields, select the additional fields you want to apply such as Rotation or Spatial Reference. Otherwise, leave the defaults.
  10. On the Map Extent tab, choose the extent option you want to use.
  11. Click OK.

Enabling Map Series

The Enable check box enables Map Series for the layout. Unchecking the check box disables Map Series functionality.

Map Series required elements

The four elements required for the creation of Map Series are as follows:

  • Map frame
  • Index layer
  • Name field
  • Sort field

Map frame

To create a map series, you'll need to choose a map frame from the Map Frame drop-down menu. The drop-down menu displays all the map frames in the layout. Only a single map frame can be chosen at a time. The map extent of the map frame changes for each page in the map series. These map extents are driven by the spatial extent of features within the index layer.

Index layer

The index layer defines the geographic extent of the map frame for each page in the map series. Each feature in the index layer drives, or defines, each page in the map series. Attributes of the index layer provide values for other Map Series parameters. There are two geoprocessing tools available from the Map Series toolset in the Cartography toolbox to help you create an index layer: Grid Index Features and Strip Map Index Features.

This drop-down menu displays a list of layers from the map frame. You can choose any feature class from the selected map frame for the index layer (as long as there is at least one feature in the layer). The default index layer is the topmost polygon layer of the map frame.

Name field

As the map series iterates through the features in the index layer and each page is defined, the attribute value from the name field is used as the page name. Null and duplicate values are accepted for page names, but to avoid confusion when working with map series pages, it is recommended to use a name field in which all values are unique.

This drop-down menu displays a list of applicable fields from the index layer. This list includes fields from a table joined to the index layer. These include short integer, long integer, and text. The default is the first field using the text "name" in the field name. If there is no field using "name" in the field name, the default will use the first available valid field. You can choose to use a different field by selecting it from the drop-down menu.

Sort field

The Sort Field provides the sorting logic for the pages. The first page of the series, or page 1, is determined based on the values of this field and whether the sort is in ascending order or descending order. Null and duplicate values are accepted, but to avoid confusion when working with map series pages, it is recommended to use a name field in which all values are unique.

The drop-down menu displays a list of applicable fields from the index layer. This list includes fields from a table joined to the index layer. These include short integer, long integer, float, double, date, and text. Since sort order is required for Map Series to work, a default field is chosen each time a new index layer is selected.

Optional fields

Map Series provides optional fields you can use to further customize your pages. These fields must be an attribute of the index layer or field from a table that is joined to the index layer. They include the following:

  • Group By
  • Page Number
  • First Page
  • Rotation
  • Spatial Reference

Group By

Map Series allows you to choose a field to group the pages of the series. For example, if you were making a map series of counties (or a subset of them) in the United States, you may want to keep the counties from each state together. In this case, you could choose the State field from the Group By drop-down menu.

Page Number

Map Series also allows you to define a page number. The page number can be based on an index layer attribute. These values can be alphanumeric. For example, you can use Roman numerals or numbers with dashes to number your pages. If you're inserting pages between maps, you may be skipping page numbers as you populate this field, as shown in the table below:

Page Number

Page 4

Page 6

Page 8

Page 10

Page 12

Page 14

Page 16

Page 18

Page 20

Page 22

You select this field from the page number drop-down menu and create your map series. Note the difference between the table above (Page Number) with the one below (Page index, Page number, Page with count).

Page indexPage numberPage with count

1

Page 4

1 of 10

2

Page 6

2 of 10

3

Page 8

3 of 10

4

Page 10

4 of 10

5

Page 12

5 of 10

6

Page 14

6 of 10

7

Page 16

7 of 10

8

Page 18

8 of 10

9

Page 20

9 of 10

10

Page 22

10 of 10

This drop-down menu displays a list of applicable fields from the index layer. This list includes fields from a table joined to the index layer. These include short integer, long integer, double, and text.

These page number field values can be used to drive dynamic text in the map layout. You can add dynamic text for the page index using the page number drop-down list on the Map Series dialog box, or you can apply the formatting tag Page <dyn type="page" property="page number"/> to an existing text element.

First Page

In some cases, you may want to start the map series pages at a page other than the first page. For example, you may want the first three pages in your map book to be for a title, a table of contents, and an overview map. The maps (the results of the map series PDF export) actually begin on page four. You enter 4 in the Page Number text box on the Map Series dialog box. If you have a dynamic text element for page numbers in your layout, you should see Page 4 displayed for the first map page.

To learn more about exporting, see Export Map Series.

Rotation

There are some use cases in which you want to apply different map rotations to pages in your map series. For example, a strip map often follows a linear feature. To make this map series more readable, you can rotate the map to align the edges of the index feature with the edges of the layout page. The Strip Map Index Features tool, which creates a strip map index feature, contains a field with the appropriate rotation values for your input.

You can also use the Calculate Grid Convergence Angle tool to create values that can be used to rotate the map to true north for each map page in your series.

This drop-down menu displays a list of applicable fields from the index layer. This list includes fields from a table joined to the index layer. These include short integer, long integer, float, and double.

Spatial Reference

There may be cases in which you want to use different spatial references for pages in your map series. There are three ways to apply spatial references in Map Series:

TypeExample

Use the entire spatial reference string.

GEOGCS ["GCS_WGS_1984",DATUM["D_WGS_1984",SPHEROID["WGS_1984",6378137,298.257223563]],PRIMEM["Greenwich",0],UNIT["Degree",0.0174532925199433]]

Point to a projection file on your local machine or on a network (requires proper file permissions).

C:\MyProjectionFiles\WGS 1984.prj.

Use the factory code for the coordinate system. Custom coordinate systems have a factory code of 0.

The factory code for geographic coordinate system WGS 1984 is 4326.

When you specify a Spatial Reference field, values from this field define the spatial reference of the map frame for each page in the map series. If the value in this field is null, incomplete, or otherwise unusable, Map Series will ignore the field and apply the last spatial reference used to the current page. There are two geoprocessing tools available to help you populate a spatial reference field: Calculate Central Meridian and Parallels and Calculate UTM Zone.

This drop-down menu displays a list of applicable fields from the Index Layer. This list includes fields from a table joined to the index layer. These include short integer, long integer, and text.

Map Extent

Each page in the map series gets an updated extent based on the index feature. The three map extent options: Best Fit, Center and Maintain Scale, and Use Scale From Field allow you to customize how the extent is calculated for each feature.

Best Fit

The Best Fit option provides a margin, measured along the horizontal or the vertical axis, between the edge of the map frame and the closest point of the index feature. The location of this closest point determines whether the margin is measured along the horizontal or the vertical. Other points of measurement may be larger than the specified fit. This is especially true for index features that are geometrically asymmetric or irregular. A margin can be specified as a percentage, in map units, or in page units.

A percentage value of 100 percent places the closest point of the index feature adjacent to the edge of the map frame. The size, or distance, between map frame edges is calculated as a percentage of the distance, in map units, of the axis containing the closest point. For example, the closest point is along the vertical axis. The longest vertical length of the feature is 150 km. A margin percentage value set at 110 percent results in a map frame of (150 km * 110%) = 165 km, with a margin of 7.5 km on either side. Since the distance between the feature and the map frame edge along the horizontal axis is farther, the margin will be greater than 7.5 km. Values less than 100 percent shrink the data frame to an extent that is within the extent of the index feature.

Margins specified in map or page units are also measured from the edge of the map frame to the closest point of the index feature. Unlike percentage, the size value is applied to each side of the horizontal axis or the vertical axis. For example, a margin is set at 50 km. The closest point of the index feature is along the vertical axis. You should see a 50 km distance between the map frame edge and the closest part of the feature. At the other end of the axis, and along the horizontal, you will see margins greater than 50 km. You will see similar results if you choose page units to measure the margin.

Note:

This option is not available if a point feature class is the index layer.

Center and Maintain Scale

By choosing the Center and Maintain Scale option, the map frame for each page in the map series is centered on the index feature and maintains a constant map scale. The drop-down menu allows you to choose a map scale from the list or create a custom scale.

Use Scale From Field

By choosing the Use Scale from Field option, the scale of the map frame for each page in the map series is data driven. Use the drop-down list to select an appropriate field containing the data you want to use to determine scale. The drop-down list is filtered to display applicable field types. These include short integer, long integer, float, and double.

When you specify a Scale From Field, values from this field define the map scale of the detail data frame for each page in the map series. If a value is null, the map series uses the scale value of the previous page. Any fixed scale or a fixed extent associated with the map frame is ignored when map series is enabled.

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