I am creating parcel map books for Wisconsin counties. As one might be able to guess, many properties are very large, some spanning multiple sections. On the other end there are many small parcels in towns and cities.

Using a single sized Index means my parcels are way too small, or I have many pages containing only one property. Is there a way to create data driven pages that decides which index to use based on parcel count?

My current idea is long and not very efficient both with memory and time, it looks like this:

  1. Create 3 map books, one with Sections, one with Quarters, and one with Quarter Quarters as the index.

  2. Export to these to PDF's

  3. Back in ArcMap, loop through each of the sections.
  4. Count the number of parcels in the section.
  5. Based on the count, decide whether to grab the Section mapbook page, 4 Quarter map book pages, or 16 Quarter Quarter mapbook pages.
  6. Save these pages in a new folder, when the loop is completed, I'll have my mapbook.

I am wondering if anyone has had a similar case when working with data driven pages and what their work around was.

  • Sounds like you need to edit your index layer manually. – Dan C Dec 14 '17 at 15:56
  • This is one option I considered, but trying to avoid as much manual work as possible. At that point I'd probably just use a Quarter Index on the whole county and accept that some maps will be difficult to read unless zoomed in, and other will just be more or less blank with only one property. – Mwspencer Dec 14 '17 at 16:10
  • 1
    I suppose it depends on whether you'll be creating these mapbooks on a regular basis, in which case the manual effort may be worthwhile. FWIW usually I end up finishing up something like this manually (after auto-generating a few different index layers) because no single automated solution gets everything looking exactly right. Another problem you will run into is the scale bar (if you're using one): if you're using the same DDP export for the entire county, the scale bar will shrink and expand depending on the scale of that particular page. – Dan C Dec 14 '17 at 16:28
  • It may be wise to do #4 and #5 before #1 creating only the pdfs you need. – user92055 Dec 14 '17 at 16:40
  • I agree and so I am wondering if something like that is possible. I am just not sure how I would do #4 and #5 before #1, as to my knowledge, you cannot have more than one DDP index per mxd file. – Mwspencer Dec 14 '17 at 16:44

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