I am creating a map with about 50 points and want to label the points numerically (i.e. 1, 2, 3, 4...) and provide a table with the corresponding point numbers in order with additional columns with info related to each point.

My problem is I want the point numbering on the map to be grouped or organized so that the numbers are not randomly scattered all over the map (i.e. point 1 is near to point 2 etc) to assist in visual interpretation. My concern is if I just add a attribute field and asign numbers, on the map it will appear random.

Any thoughts on how to address this using ArcGIS Desktop 9.3.1?


If you data doesn't already have Lat/Long fields, use the Add XY coordinates tool to create them. Then you can use the sort tool to sort by your lat long (depending on what hemisphere and general area are you can choose if your numbering starts in the upper left corner, upper right, etc).
When you use the Sort tool to create a new table it automatically assigns a new Object ID based on that sort so everything should be numbered in order.
As for the table, there is an option to add your attribute table directly to your map layout or if you're looking to make it neater, export the attribute table to Excel and then add to your layout as an image.

  • Thank you both for your quick responses. I like the sort based on the lat/long field. Very clever. – john Aug 3 '12 at 15:44

It sounds to me like you may have to just manually edit this information into your attribute table. Make a column named "point_num" (or something along those lines) and manually select and name them in an edit session. If you only have 50 points it shouldn't take very long. Afterward, stop and save your edit session and do a table join to link your additional data to the attribute table.

  • Forgot to mention you can sort your attribute table by that numeric column you created following the prior steps – Dano Aug 3 '12 at 15:07

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