ArcMap 10.2

I am creating a utility mapbook to show HVAC points on an installation. The data driven pages are named and sorted by a separate layer (area feature class). There are 70 named areas, however, not every page has HVAC units within the extent.

Is there a method to automatically exclude pages that do NOT include HVAC points within the viewing extent?

Notes: - The data itself has to remain untouched so I can't add any additional fields. - I'm familiar enough with python to run a script but I don't know what modules to call or run.

  • You can't add a field to the area feature class?
    – ianbroad
    Aug 13, 2015 at 19:50
  • @ian Unfortunately no. It's government data and there are pretty strict restrictions on what fields are included.
    – Tobel
    Aug 13, 2015 at 20:01

1 Answer 1


The way I've always limited what pages are included is through a definition query.

If you can't edit the original data, then you could make a copy of it. However, I'm not sure of all your requirements.

The script below will make a copy of the original area layer, and add a field called DisplayPage. It then does a SelectByLocation to select all the areas that contain an HVAC feature. After the selection it uses an UpdateCursor to populate the DisplayPage field with a Yes for all the currently selected areas.

import arcpy

arcpy.env.overwriteOutput = True

#change paths to where your data is located
original_area = "C:\\temp\\Data.gdb\\Area"
hvac_features = "C:\\temp\\Data.gdb\\HVAC"

#change path to where you'd like the copy outputted
copy_area = "C:\\temp\\Data.gdb\\AreaCopy"

arcpy.CopyFeatures_management(original_area, copy_area)
arcpy.AddField_management(copy_area, "DisplayPage", "TEXT")

copy_area_fl = arcpy.MakeFeatureLayer_management(copy_area, "copy_area_fl")
hvac_features_fl = arcpy.MakeFeatureLayer_management(hvac_features, "hvac_features_fl")

arcpy.SelectLayerByLocation_management(copy_area_fl, "CONTAINS", hvac_features_fl)

with arcpy.da.UpdateCursor(copy_area_fl, ("DisplayPage")) as cursor:
     for row in cursor:
         row[0] = "Yes"



Then in ArcMap set a definition query on the copied area layer to DisplayPage = 'Yes'. And use this layer as the index for the Data Driven Pages.

enter image description here

  • 1
    Thank you, this did exactly what I needed. And I appreciate you writing this in python as I need more experience in this area and it will be good to break this down.
    – Tobel
    Aug 13, 2015 at 20:40

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