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I'm a newly minted GIS tech.

At first, using Maplex, the labels in my point file were displaying in what looked like a clumped, truly random pattern: some areas would have labels stacked on top of each other, while other areas would have no labels at all.

My supervisor thinks this had something to do with how the labels are weighted.

Today, the file is displaying all the labels, but they look like this. Please note I do not have "Never Remove" checked.

How can I label my map legibly?

enter image description here


John W. Fell commented:

From what I can tell it appears that your point cloud is rather dense. You may need to produce maps indexed by grid and at larger scales for each individual map. Data driven pages may be a good solution.

That's actually what we're doing. This page is a 1:12,000 scale map of a square mile, and is page 11 of 38 in the atlas created by the data driven pages.

  • Maplex has quite a few settings you could fiddle with at the scale and with the data you are using. There are label position and fitting strategies in the Layer Properties; there are Label Weight and Label Priority settings on the Labeling toolbar. What have you tried so far? If the density and size of the labels is just too much for maplex, you may have to convert the labels to annotation and then manually adjust the remaining problems. – johns Aug 3 '17 at 12:51
  • Unfortunately, several people have tried different things, so I can't provide a list. Changing the process from "Fast" to "Best" helped slightly, but there are still points (I'd say 10% of them overall) that aren't displaying, most likely because of density. – Unregistered Aug 4 '17 at 18:11
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Point labeling is challenging in ArcGIS software. I doubt that any algorithm will be able to label your points at the scale you have identified in your image. From what I can tell it appears that your point cloud is rather dense. You may need to produce maps indexed by grid and at larger scales for each individual map. Data driven pages may be a good solution.

  • Thank you. I knew there were details that I wouldn't know to include. "From what I can tell it appears that your point cloud is rather dense. You may need to produce maps indexed by grid and at larger scales for each individual map. Data driven pages may be a good solution." That's actually what we're doing. This page is a 1:12,000 scale map of a square mile, and is page 11 of 38 in the atlas created by the data driven pages. – Unregistered Aug 2 '17 at 19:48

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