Page Definition Queries

Data driven pages is a great tool for creating multiple maps with the same data covering different areas, but what about when you need the data to vary map to map? Instead of creating multiple MXDs try using ‘Page Definition Queries’.

I was recently working on Map Biographies for a Use and Occupancy study with about 30 respondents. Previously there was one MXD for every respondent (so in this case 30 MXDs) which caused me to grumble when I had to change a title here or a font there. I decided there had to be a better way and after a bit of Googling I discovered page definitions. Using Page Definition queries I was able to create one MXD with a copy of the respondent data and then link the data to the Page Name based on a field. The final product is a MXD with data driven pages that allows me to click through all the respondents while changing the respondent name on the map, the extent, and the data shown) and export all the pages in one go. Overall, this has deceased editing time, increased map uniformity, and decreased exporting time.

I have also used page definitions in creating the basemaps for Use and Occupancy projects as a way to remove annotation outside the map sheet of interest.

For more information check out: ArcGIS Resources

-Allison Hunt

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