I am using ArcGIS Pro to display point data on a map. Each of these points need to be displayed with clearly visible symbols. However, some of them sit very close together, and when displaying on a printed map, they appear as a collective black blob, rather than individual symbols. When I make them small enough that they are separate points, they appear only as tiny dots, not as unique symbols.

How can I best display these points?

Is annotating the symbol itself an option? (as an aside, I do have two inset maps to display the busiest areas, but this is still a problem on the rest of the map).

closed as primarily opinion-based by PolyGeo Oct 15 at 21:22

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  • 1
    Some combination of point symbology, labeling, changes in map scale, or use of insets is usually the best answer. Sometimes it's simply impossible to show all the data in a point layer clearly at a given scale/extent. That's a judgement call that you will have to make. Can't say anything much more specific than that without seeing the distribution of your point features. – lambertj Oct 15 at 19:44

There are two basic methods for displaying points that are too close together.

The first method is clustering. This method combines nearby points into a single symbol. The symbol often includes a number, which shows how many points have been combined. Here's a blog post about using point clustering symbology:


The other method is displacement or dispersal. The points are rearranged so they can all be seen. Here's a blog post about using "disperse marker" tool:


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