Displaying overlapping map icons

Could anyone please give me some advice on how to display overlapping map icons?
I have about 100 maps and some maps have up to 400 icons with many busy areas. I could displace the icons and add leader lines graphically however this will take a very long time.
I have tried adding leader lines automatically by making invisible pie charts (ArcGIS 10) however the lines are almost impossible to move because when you click on them the select box is bigger than the extent of the page and I would have to constantly zoom in and out to find which leader line it is selecting and unfortunately I cannot seperate the lines from the pie charts after converting the features to graphics. 

I have been given the suggestion to turn the icons into fonts and add them as labels but all the font makers so far lower the resolution of the icons. Any suggestions please much appreciated.


2 thoughts on “Displaying overlapping map icons

  1. Have you considered using insets? Not sure what the paper size and scale are that you will be using…

    Pie Charts seem like a reasonable solution, where I would keep using those in any case…

    Just keep playing with them as graphics (draw your own leader lines if you need to; place them in an annotation group for scalability in your map).

    I wonder why you are unable to separate the leader lines from the pie charts after they are converted to graphics. Are you ungrouping them? There is an ungroup button you can press found on the ‘Drawing’ toolbar, check it out.

    Would you be able to post a sample of the map and how it looks so far, it would be easier to offer suggestions if the forum could see exactly what is going on.

    1. I have the same issue with my map info for traditional use sites…if you look at Terry’s new book, there are lots of Land Use & Occupancy Studies that have multiple overlapping icons representing “kill sites” and the clutter seems to reinforce the degree of activity on the land….

      I am looking for traditional use map icons like cabins, smokehouses, etc….. do you know where I can find there?


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