I have more than 2000 parcels. I added this layer in Data Driven.

Need: One of the option that data driven has about scale of the Map is "Best fit". What it does its fits parcels inside data frame in random scales. What i need is that this "Best fits" option to be forced to certain scale 500,1000,2500,5000,10000 automatically.

For example: if parcel 1 best fit is 1:556 i need it to go to 1:1000, and if parcel 2 best fits in 1:1300 i need it to go to 1:2500

P.s. I can use a field too to force the scaling, but this field needs to be populated manually with the scales mentioned above for every parcels, this is not good for me.

2 Answers 2


If you are using Data Driven Pages from ArcMap there is an option to round the best fit scale to nearest value of your choice (see below)

Round to nearest

To use this in ArcPy I would have a look at this question and answer: How to automatically generate useful scales for data driven pages in ArcGIS desktop

  • But i need to exclude some scales like 1500, 3000, 3500, and so on... Nov 18, 2014 at 11:00
  • The question I linked to covers that - using an if elif statement you can look at the scale for each feature and categorize it then potentially save as a new field.
    – MAJ742
    Nov 18, 2014 at 11:10
  • does it take in consideration the layout frame size? Nov 18, 2014 at 11:11

You can set the scale on the fly using ArcPy's mapping module:

from arcpy import mapping
mxd = mapping.MapDocument(r"Some Path")
df = mxd.activeDataFrame # you can also get access to all data frames through listdataframes()
scales = [1500,3000,...,50000]
for scale in scales:
    df.scale = scale
    # do stuff with map

Hope this helps.


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