I imported a few geotagged images and created a points shape showing their locations (or more accurately, the location of the camera) with the "Geotagged Photos to Points" tools. The attribute table contains a column called direction, which contains the direction the camera was facing. Is it possible to show that direction with arrow icons?

1 Answer 1


You could try this in two different ways, either rotating your symbology (mark each location with a symbol that points at ), or rotating a label (each location has a static point symbol, and label rotated). Here's the Esri help page for each method:

  1. Rotate the label: Setting label rotation using a numeric field. I think this would work better for your particular case, since you can simply define the default symbol as an arrow and rotate accordingly.
  2. Rotate the point symbol: Rotating point feature symbols. This may be a better approach if not all of your points have an associated direction.

In either case, use the field Direction to get the amount of rotation to apply. Note that the direction values should be numerical (e.g. 45 not northeast) to work properly.

The angle represents either geographic or arithmetic coordinates. Geographic rotates labels from north in a clockwise direction, while Arithmetic rotates labels from east in a counterclockwise direction.

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    I had a co-worker the other day who did this. She used the geographic angles with a field called angles. The results were arrows pointing in the opposite direction she wanted (don't know where she got the angles from). I had to select records where angle was >= 180 and subtract 180 in field calculator, and add 180 to records where angle was < 180. This worked for her. Just an FYI, in case you get similar results.
    – recurvata
    Sep 30, 2014 at 12:37
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    Just to add a little to @recurvata. To really use the angles in a shapefile, you need to know which direction 0 degrees is and what kind of rotation (clockwise vs counter clockwise) was used. It is also good to know the range (0-360 vs 0 -> 180 / 0 -> -180) of the degree values. I spent a good chunk of time recently figuring out different rotations, etc.
    – Branco
    Mar 19, 2015 at 17:19

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