I've got a map with ~2000 villages on it & have a layer of points that corresponds to them. I'd now like to enter some information about them (the names). It would be a huge pain to do this manually by scrolling around the layer in Arcmap.

One idea would be to programmatically take screenshots in a little box around each point. I could then do data entry based on the screenshots pretty easily.

Is it possible to do this with ArcGIS Desktop?

I have a .tif image I've georeferenced and placed points on, sample as image below. I'd now like to do some data entry for each of the points. The simplest thing would be to take a screenshot of a certain area around each point and scroll through them.

The ideal final product would be:

  • 2000 individual image files
  • Each a screenshot centered around a point in my file with a certain zoom factor applied
  • The below example would generate 8 image files, each centered around a red dot with a certain zoom (example output below)

enter image description here

enter image description here

  • 1
    You want to pan to a point/polygon and export a data frame.. is that it? Well yes it's possible but not really through the interface except by data driven pages. Do you have any ArcObjects (VB.net, C#) ability or can you use arcpy? Or is it that you want to select a bunch and pan to each one to edit the attributes? If so I answered a similar question gis.stackexchange.com/questions/152536/… Jul 14, 2017 at 0:40
  • 2
    Easiest way to shuffle is buffering them and use results as data driven pages
    – FelixIP
    Jul 14, 2017 at 1:40
  • @MichaelStimson, I'm sorry I don't understand the term "export a data frame." Does the code in your example produce screenshots? If so I did not understand which lines were key.
    – Cory
    Jul 14, 2017 at 4:27
  • @FelixIP, I apologize but I don't understand the terminology "shuffle," "buffering," and "data driven pages." I know some very basic arcpy -- could you provide some links to relevant methods for me? Thank you.
    – Cory
    Jul 14, 2017 at 4:28
  • Exporting a data frame is the same as File::Export Map, it's an ArcObjects term as the 'map' is a data frame; exporting this way georeference can be asserted on the images. The linked code is to 'visit' the selected features, skipping from one to the next one at a time, it's particularly useful if you need to check sparse features without missing one. Considering the rewording of your question I would recommend using ArcGis Data driven pages then you can export a 'map series' of 2000 images desktop.arcgis.com/en/arcmap/10.3/map/page-layouts/… Jul 14, 2017 at 4:32

1 Answer 1


Your village points can be an index layer for one of two methods:

  1. With no code using Data Driven Pages (DDP) to create single page PDFs with each page zooming to one of those village points. Your DDP-enabled MXD will just need to have your image and your village points layer in it. The output would be PDF rather than an image but maybe that will meet your requirements.
  2. Using ArcPy you could use a SearchCursor to visit each village point at a set scale, and then export the map at that extent to JPEG, TIFF, etc. Your MXD will just need to have your image and your village points layer in it.

I suspect that both these techniques represent duplicates of earlier Q&As. If you choose one to try and then ask about where you are stuck in a separate question then the earlier duplicate may be more easily discovered.

  • Thanks for this explanation (& to other commenters). I realize now the seeds were there but I didn't fully understand until looking at this. To save myself time, I'm going with the DDP approach which works great.
    – Cory
    Jul 14, 2017 at 16:49

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