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I have multiple electrical cable going through the same path. Should I draw them all as one single line (with an attribute denoting how many they are)? or multiple lines? if multiple, should I draw them with a separating distance to be able to distinguish between them? or draw them as they are in reality (Stacked)?

  • Are you using ArcGIS for Utilities or any other add-ins? – juturna Mar 11 '15 at 12:37
  • Using representations could be nice here so you don't edit your data, but only the view of the data. I am not sure what options exist in the add-ins, but representations (help.arcgis.com/en/arcgisdesktop/10.0/help/index.html#//…) could be a good solution without add-ins. – Branco Mar 11 '15 at 12:58
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I would say this totally depends on the purpose of the data. Is it being used by contractors and construction companies so they don't break anything? Are you maintaining data for the city or municipality? Or are you simply trying to create a pretty map?

While I was still in university, I did some work as a temp for a company that was digitizing the subterranean infrastructure for a national government agency. What we used to in the cases like the one you are describing, is simply draw a single line and subsequently copy and paste it as many times as necessary to represent reality.

Using a distance between the individual cables loses its intended function when you zoom out to a smaller scale. Consider that you could always use labels to visualize the individual cables, if necessary.

  • Thanks for answering; the data will eventually be used for O&M. I will be maintaining it for a while, but eventually will let go. – ahmed Mar 12 '15 at 5:23

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