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Suppose one had a large dataset of features of vastly different sizes - perhaps political boundaries ranging from country to county. It would be useful to be able to display only the large countries at a distant scale while increasingly displaying smaller boundaries as the map is zoomed.

In ArcMap, the only way I know how to accomplish this is by creating multiple copies of the layer in the Table of Contents and choose the maximum and minimum display scales. However, can I set an attribute, say display_scale_min and display_scale_max where it specifies at which scales the individual feature should be displayed?

This wouldn't add too much complexity because the database could quickly narrow the results given the current map scale. It would be handy because the display scale could be programmatically assigned. It would also be handy when one feature class had several scale-dependent classes (such as having eight or so ways to simplify the display of roads).

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Try creating Spatial Bookmarks - help.arcgis.com/en/arcgisdesktop/10.0/help/index.html#/… –  Mapperz May 6 '11 at 14:26
    
By the way, I'm wanting to set this up for an ArcGIS Server map service. –  dmsnell May 6 '11 at 19:27
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1 Answer

In your feature layer you can create a field for the appropriate scale and use the mapbook extension to create a map series to show each feature at its particular scale. You'd have to flip back and forth from layout view to map view but that the easiest way I can think of to do it. Bookmarks, as stated above, are also helpful.

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