I've got a shapefile containing a large number of O&G parcel features. Each feature parcel has an associated status (things like "Held by Production," "Shut-in," "Leased, Non-producing") and an associated lease expiration date. I need to create a map that depicts this information by color-coding each parcel by its expiration date AND its status.

For example, I need to color all parcels with leases expiring in 2014 red, 2015 orange, 2016 yellow, etc. I also need to identify those parcels with Status = "Paid Up" with diagonal lines overlaying the color fill designating expiration year.

I hope my question is clear, and thanks in advance for any feedback you can offer!

EDIT Throughout the process of working with this problem, I've come up with another tripping point: How does one assign symbology based only on the YEAR of a date field? For instance, my shapefile has a DATE field with the following format: 01/01/2014. I would like to symbolize each feature based on the YEAR only. The symbology tool allows me to assign symbology for each individual value (1/1/2014, 1/2/2014, etc.), but not based on only the YEAR portion of the DATE field.

In fact, when I populate the symbology tool with all unique values of the DATE field and sort, the list sorts alphabetically rather than chronologically. This leads to weirdness like 1/1/2015 appearing before 1/2/2014.


2 Answers 2


I think that the easiest way to do it in your case is to simply duplicate the layer in your dataframe (right click on layer, copy-paste). This will not duplicate your data, so it is not a problem for size. Just put the layer with the line fill symbol on top of the coloured symbol, and you are done.

EDIT : concerning your latest edit, you have the answer in Matt Wilkie's comment and here

  • Performance can be improved by using a definition-query to select each symbol type for each layer (as opposed to loading all of the feature class multiple times and only symbolizing one or two types, leaving the rest blank). Feb 3, 2014 at 19:56

Other than making a second layer for symbology as described by radouxju, your other option is to use the 'unique values, many fields' option in the categories group. then you can set your symbology to include all required combinations of status and date.

  • This was my initial thought as well, though it seems like it would be incredibly cumbersome to associate each unique combination of the two fields with its specific symbology. Is there some way to do this elegantly?
    – Mitchell
    Feb 3, 2014 at 19:26
  • I work with oil and gas parcels as well, and I have found that using the two-layer method radouxju explains is quite effective, and makes it easier to use only one symbology at a time when needed. I think it'll be cumbersome to create a symbology regardless, but if you save it as a layer, you can just import it again, and you can build in expected values (i.e. upcoming years not yet in the dataset) in advance, using the add values... dialog, so then you never have to rebuild the symbology, just import it from the saved layer
    – TDavis
    Feb 3, 2014 at 19:31
  • you can use the field calculator and the YEAR function to extract the year from a date field into a new field
    – TDavis
    Feb 3, 2014 at 19:32
  • @Mitchell: an often overlooked technique is to use unique-values-many-fields > Add All Unique and then ctr-select relevant records that should be one, followed by r-click > Group Values. Feb 3, 2014 at 20:01
  • I think grouping the values would not have the desired effect, but ctrl-clicking to select, and then right-click and 'properties for selected symbols' would allow you to rapidly assign symbols to all the different classes
    – TDavis
    Feb 3, 2014 at 20:14

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