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I'm using ArcMap 10.5.1 I have a map with journeys made by patients across the country as lines features. All journeys are in the same layer. Some of these journeys go right across the country, while some are very localised. When I create maps of small districts I dont want to see the journey lines (features) which extend across these districts as they obscure whats going on within the district. I am aware of two potential solutions;

  1. create separate layers out of the features I don't want to include. In my instance, the journeys I do want are not distinguishable from the features I dont want, so to select them by attributes of another feature class is not possible. I would need to do this manually, which would be laborious.
  2. Convert to graphics. This would allow me to delete individual lines, but as I create different map images, this would be clumsy.

I was wondering if there is a way to specify that only lines (within the layer) completely visible within a given scale/map extent, be drawn?

  • To complement your first solution you know of definition queries right? You can copy and paste the entire layer in the table of contents, set different definition queries for diffent journey types and then set visible scale and symbology for each layer. It will still take some work though... – BERA Jan 3 '18 at 12:37
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You could use Select By Location to select the journeys within one or several selected district(s). Use 'are completely within the source layer feature' as selection method:

enter image description here

Use a transparent symbol for the journey lines so that the lines that are not selected are not visible. Optionally change their selection symbol if you don't want the default turquoise thick line (go to the layer properties > Selection tab).

This could also be automated by using the Select Layer By Location geoprocessing tool within a Python script or model, but you would need to provide more details about your process and how the maps are created and exported, if relevant.

  • Thanks, that was helpful. The only problem is some of the journey lines go across an inlet or inward bulge of coast (because obviously the line is drawn as the crow flies), it then doesn't consider these lines to be contained within the district. I tried selecting features within a certain distance of the district, but it gives me an error. The error is not very informative but I think this is because you can only select points and not lines in this manner?I can manually add these lines but this is problematic,as one viable line may represent several journeys back and forth between two points. – MadMapMitrani Jan 5 '18 at 13:49
  • Then using 'have their centroid in the source layer feature' as selection method might help in some cases (but might create other issues as well...). There could be another workflow involving the Feature To Point tool, but this requires an advanced license. – GISGe Jan 5 '18 at 14:01
  • In the end I used a combination of selection methods (select by rectangle, as well as, "have their centroid in the source layer"). Thanks. – MadMapMitrani Jan 9 '18 at 6:51

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