My GIS group needs to find, or somehow develop, a labeling tool for points in ArcMap. Ideally, it would work like this:

  1. Each point would be labeled using an image file (jpg or png) so that a location, such as a McDonald's restaurant, would get labeled with thumbnail-sized image of the golden arches, etc.

  2. A leader line would extend from the image to the point location on the map

  3. The labels would position themselves as close to the points as possible, without overlapping each other.

  4. When you zoom in or out on the map, the labels would reposition themselves, moving closer or farther from the points, in order to keep from overlapping.

Basically, we're looking for a method to label points with graphics, instead of text, that we can then throw onto a tiled base map online. If we can use any open-source or non-propriety methods, Javascript libraries, HTML5 tools, etc, it would be best for the budget. But, if need be, we are open to any alternative software options

We also have access to ArcGIS for Server, so we could publish a map service if there is a way to accomplish this in ArcMap for Desktop. We have been looking for some kind of way to do this in ArcMap for more than a year, without any luck. ESRI has a few articles on how to use PNG files as point symbols, but we're looking for a way to use PNG/JPG files as point labels. Maybe it's too much.

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