I have a database of wells and water level measurements which I would like to label in a stacked manner with the ID on top and the measurement below it. If the measurement is from 2020, it should appear normally but if it is from before 2020 I want to put the value in parentheses. It seems what I have written so far ignores the else part of the function (everything comes out normal). If I switch the >/< symbol, everything comes out in parentheses.

Does anyone know what I am doing wrong in ArcMap here?

def FindLabel ( [IDMINE], [Date], [Q1_2020_WL] ):
    if [Date] > 12/30/2019:
        return [IDMINE] + '\n' + [Q1_2020_WL]
        return [IDMINE] + '\n' + "(" + [Q1_2020_WL] + ")"
  • 2
    Is this ArcMap or Pro? What is the data type of your date field?
    – Bera
    Commented Apr 22, 2020 at 17:37
  • This is in ArcMap and the date field is a String. Displayed as 30-Mar-20 for example.
    – Paramo
    Commented Apr 22, 2020 at 17:49

1 Answer 1


You cant compare strings using ><. Convert your string into a datetimeobject and then "everything" is possible. You need to check Advanced for this to work:

from datetime import datetime
def FindLabel ( [SOMEDATEFIELD], [OBJECTID] ):
    i = [OBJECTID]
    d = datetime.strptime([SOMEDATEFIELD], '%Y-%m-%d') #Adjust to to match your date format, see: https://docs.python.org/2/library/datetime.html#strftime-and-strptime-behavior 
    if d.year < 2016:
        return "{0} \n ({1})".format(i, d.year)
        return "{0} \n {1}".format(i, d.year)

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