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Just ran my first iterations of data-driven pages. It was more successful than I planned, but I'm running into some issues.

Main problem is rotating the page to the extent of the polygon. There are two areas where this is a large problem because it minimizes the size of otherwise important segments.

Here is my DDP setup: DDP Setup Settings

I calculated the orientation of the polygons with the Grid Conversion to Angle tool: Grid Conversion Tool Settings

Here is a section of the index sheets along the highway with the resulting orientation (and a x100 attribute of orientation I created called Rotation, which still doesn't appear to be a large enough value for a degree angle): Highway Index Sheet

However, this is how the resulting DDP exported page (with index page turned on for comparison) turned out: Output DDP

Everything is rotated to true north as opposed to the orientation of the index page. Additionally, it creates the output to the extent of the polygon vertices as opposed to rotating to match the polygon's general direction.

What am I doing wrong?

  • The function you used to calculate the geodesic angle, does not calculate the angle of the feature. It calculates the differential between North based on your Coordinate system, and True North, measured from the center point of your feature. You need to calculate the angle of one of the long axis of your polygon, and use that as your rotation. – Get Spatial Apr 3 '17 at 23:36
  • Would that involve something like Calculate Polygon Main Angle? – policy_brain Apr 5 '17 at 14:38
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    Yes, the Calculate Polygon Main Angle function will likely give you the rotation value you are looking for. You should be fine using the data driven pages setup you are now, once you have that angle. I don't know that the strip map mentioned in the answer below would add anything to what you are doing since you already have your page outlines delineated. – Get Spatial Apr 5 '17 at 15:45
  • This did it! Thank you! Would you be willing to add your comment as an answer so I may indicate you have solved the problem? – policy_brain Apr 5 '17 at 19:40
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The function you used to Calculate the Geodesic Angle, does not calculate the angle of the feature. It calculates the differential between North based on your Coordinate system, and True North, measured from the center point of your feature. You need to calculate the angle of one of the long axis of your polygon, and use that as your rotation.

As you found, the better function to use, is Calculate Polygon Main Angle. This calculates, and fills a field with, the angle of the long segments of your polygon. Since your veiwports are rectangular, this should work very well.

Make sure that you choose the correct rotation method, of either Arithmetic, or Graphic, as you need the angle to match the way ArcGIS rotates the data frame. You may have to do some fine-tuning of the angles in order to ensure your pages are oriented the way you wish them to be according to your layout, ie. to keep North facing the top of the page.

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You want to use the Strip Map Index Features tool instead of the Calculate Grid Convergence Tool.

This will create a series of polygons outlining the extent of each page to be created by Data Driven pages.

Using this tool will give you a wealth of information you can use to set up the data driven pages dialog. This includes an "Angle" field which you can use as the "Rotation" value.

You need to set the output from this tool as the input Layer in the "Set up data driven pages" window ; this replaces the layer you have currently called "IndexSheets".

  • I've looked at Strip Map before but the main issue involved in this project is that I'm not looking at continuous segments of highway. There might be a section, then a gap of a few miles, then another section, and then an area where the highway splits off but both directions need to be followed. Would Strip Map be appropriate for that? – policy_brain Apr 5 '17 at 14:37

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