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Leviathan171 post(s)
#19-Dec-18 15:29

I read some posts and online forums that states you can set a label based on the line geometry in the attribute table. However I am curious if there is a way to create a label based on a given angle in the attribute table? Also if not that, is there a rotation tool I am not familiar with?


5,291 post(s)
#19-Dec-18 17:04

You can rotate point symbols with a thematic format based on a value, but there's no current facility to rotate a label based on a thematic format. I suppose the idea is that labels are there to be read, so it helps to have them right-side up, or as close to right side up as alignment to a line allows.

9 is pretty darned endless, so you could hack this up if you wanted by creating line segments in the desired bearing (use a computed field in SQL to do that automatically) and then creating labels on those. But even there Manifold won't spin the label totally upside down but will try to keep it right side up so it can be read. The best you can do with that technique is a strong tilt. See the Labels from Lines discussion in the Labels topic.

I don't think I've ever heard of anyone wanting to read labels upside down, so I have to admit to being curious what your application is that you want labels rotated away from normal orientation, if that is what you are seeking.


6,292 post(s)
#20-Dec-18 07:43

Imagine a printing frame that is not oriented uprightly. For instance the final map set follows a stream or a road.

In Mfd8 I had to use a rotated map frame in the layout and mask the overlap to get that effect.

And I needed labels all rotated exactly in the angle of the final map frame in layout.


How would I want to handle this scenario more straight forward in Mfd9 ?

  • First of all I'd like to be able to rotate the map component, preferable by number and picked from orientation of a line segment. I like to arrange objects in WYSIWYG.
  • Then I want to catch this rotation in the saved location along with center and scale.
  • I don't want to rotate the map frame in layout and mask the overlapping corners of the frame
  • Instead I want to be able to set the content of the map frame in layout according to the saved location.
  • It's not acceptable to have to use line labels for the rotated labels in this scenario.

So I guess we need rotation for point labels. Or Is there a better workflow?

... I have to admit to being curious what your application is that you want labels rotated away from normal orientation ...

"Normal" is normal only for the restricted experience with google maps. Oops, google maps allow rotation :-)


5,291 post(s)
#20-Dec-18 08:26

Imagine a printing frame that is not oriented uprightly.

That's not really answering the question.

It's a bit like somebody saying "I want a hollowed out space in my automobile's seats so I can sit in the automobile wearing a parachute." And then, when you ask, "What's the scenario for wearing a parachute in your car?" ... the reply is, "Well, when the car flies I want to be able to parachute out of it in case of trouble." OK. Not really applicable since automobiles don't fly.

In this case, layouts and maps in Manifold are North Up. They don't rotate either in map views or in layouts. So, sure, you can image a printing frame that is not oriented upright, but that's not a scenario in Manifold.

For now, I'm curious what the scenario is today for rotating labels. I respect the original poster for asking about them, and curious what the scenario is today for using them.


PS: If what is desired is generalized rotation of map views and frames without layouts, that's a fine thing to discuss. There are very many details involved in such things so if anybody wants to prioritize such new capabilities it would be a great idea to launch a thread to discuss them to sort out issues before sending in a Suggestion. For example, most web servers don't rotate views other than North Up. How do you want to handle those, given the immense popularity of web servers as background maps? But that's worth a thread of its own, not cheating the importance of the topic by discussing it en passant in a different thread.


8,578 post(s)
#20-Dec-18 09:48

In this case, layouts and maps in Manifold are North Up. They don't rotate either in map views or in layouts. So, sure, you can image a printing frame that is not oriented upright, but that's not a scenario in Manifold.

Indeed, and that has always been a major problem in Manifold 8. (It could always be solved by using a custom Oblique Mercator projection, but it seems not many people were prepared to take that route.)

I hope there are plans to solve it clearly, cleanly and more simply in Manifold 9.


8,578 post(s)
#20-Dec-18 10:10

Strictly, it is incorrect to say that layouts, maps or other components in Manifold are north up. That is only the case where grid north locally matches true north (leaving magnetic north completely aside).

In general terms, and depending on projection, that situation is rare.

Usually up is just up, and north is somewhere else.

We do need map rotation, for this and many more important reasons, just as Klaus says. Genau.


5,291 post(s)
#20-Dec-18 12:31


If you feel strongly about it, start a thread and speak up about how you would like it to be. I bet that if you think about it in detail, you'll see there are many nuances, like the question I asked about web servers.

For example, the easiest thing in the world is to create a brain-dead view rotation that ignores real life issues like the immense popularity of web servers for basemaps. Given that plenty of web server basemaps don't rotate, how should those be handled? Just blank them out of a rotated display? Leave them as is with their own labels weirdly rotated? How about vector editing tools that draw lines based on bearings? Would that be the rotated or non-rotated bearing? How would the options to switch be done and be reported?

There are very many such nuances, each one of which requires controls to manage, and then learning to teach how those controls can be used or, for those who don't care about rotations, ignored. None of it is rocket science, but the impact on users from additional complexity and increased learning required can be significant.

If this is a priority, it seems to be worth a thread and discussion. Like many visual things this is technically not difficult, in that it doesn't require any new math or science. It's just routine work. If it is worth doing ahead of other things, may as well do it the way people want. :-)


6,292 post(s)
#20-Dec-18 14:53

I think its easy to handle web server data considering any possible rotation. Just send a request for the box of the enclosing circle of the window frame - be it the rotated map on a monitor or a layout frame with rotated content. We would need a second step in Mfd9 to rotate the images delivered by the server for display. Seems possible.

I don't think you would need any other user command but to set the angle and this could be done through control of a saved location that gets and sets values from/to an image, a drawing, labels or a map and a layout frame for all those components.


5,291 post(s)
#20-Dec-18 16:51

We would need a second step in Mfd9 to rotate the images delivered by the server for display.

Ah, and if the server sends labels within the pixels? Rotate the images sent by the server and you rotate what text those images contain.

OK, so we use a basemap from an ArcGIS REST server in our map. In the Layout we rotate the frame 270 to get the horizontal orientation we want for the Rhine river. Oops! The web server image is just pixels, which if we rotate 270 degrees result in pixelated text that is no longer in the right position to be read: spinning the image does not spin the pixels that comprise the text, because the source doesn't have the ability to rotate the display on demand to have text right side up.

Suppose the map you are showing in the frame has labels, and those labels have style overrides where the user very carefully chose images for the icons that make sense given the original orientation. Should those icons be auto-rotated when you auto-rotate labels to match the rotation of the frame? Should there be an option to turn on/off auto-rotation? When you get into the details of this you end up with many controls.

None of this is impossible to deal with. All of it is very routine. There's just a lot of it to consider. I recommend that the best way to consider such matters, where details count for a lot, is to give the job the respect it deserves. Start a thread if you feel it is a priority. Don't bury the discussion where nobody will find it, within a thread captioned "MF 9 Labels".



6,292 post(s)
#20-Dec-18 21:58

Well, this thread is about the priority of rotation for point labels.

You asked for a scenario where we could use this feature. The simple example was a good example TMO. Rotation of the contents of a layout frame possibly showing a web-server unfavorable for rotation is a bad example. This is best solved by choosing a suitable background. Labeled web-servers seldom need labels but we have web servers with separate layers for labels.

Jet we'r arguing only about an example and besides the subject of the thread.

561 post(s)
#21-Dec-18 16:39

I have a scenario for rotating labels and a scenario for rotating the map and labels.

Label rotation:

I don't use a map server. My maps are eventually printed on 11x17 up to 36x42 inch sizes. The maps are used by appraisers to organize their routes in order so they can view parcel by parcel without shuffling a lot of paperwork in the car. All the paper shuffling is done in the office using the map as a guide. Of course the map and the numbers on the map have to be legible but the map has to cover a practical amount of area, also. We have one subdivision where the original lots were only 25 feet wide. In order to make a legible print of a practical size, the font has to be a certain size. Without rotating the labels, the labels overlap making them all illegible. When I rotate them, they are easy enough for the appraisers to read and create their routing flow.

Map and Label Rotation:

I live in a rural county where the largest community and county seat has a population less than 1,000 people. I say that only to explain the 'small town' approach to the design of the town. There is a river along west and south sides of town which defines the 45 degree angle of the layout created back in the 1800s. In this case, in order to save paper and facilitate reading the street names, the original maps were drawn with north at 45 degrees. In order to see the entire town in Manifold I have to be at a zoom range of 1:10,000. If I could rotate the Manifold map 45 degrees I could gain a lot of resolution with a zoom level of 1:3,000 or 1:4,000. With M8 I can rotate the Layout, but as has been pointed out, that is not ideal as you have to have be zoomed out too far to begin with to zoom back in and mask the image to the paper shape. Here again, though, these lots are small and the labels would have to be under rotated to keep them from overlapping for the appraisers.

Scenario for rotating labels.jpg
Scenario for rotating map.jpg

geozap124 post(s)
#22-Dec-18 07:09

Another case rotated labels are needed is when there are city blocks and at each block we have the address numbers or information about what lies in that point (for example shops). Currently in M9 you can have labels like in blocks A and C. I would like to have to option to align the labels vertically or horizontally to the blocks sides like in blocks B and D. It is visually better I think.

To prepare the example for blocks B and D I had to manually draw lines. One could automate the auxiliary lines creation programmatically, but IMO it is neater (and better for people that prefer point and click than programming) to get block sides as lines, get their bearings, transfer them to points that lie on the sides, and use that property to rotate labels of that points.


288 post(s)
#22-Dec-18 08:55

Yes, house numbers with feet towards the street is a use case where labels can be rotated arbitrarily. Even upside down.

94 post(s)
#21-Dec-18 16:36

One example of a label rotation needed would be raw parcel data as it is delivered from some states in Germany.

The label for the parcel number is defined as a point with rotation.

A good converter would calculate that into a line, but there are plenty of tools out there that just spit out that point with a rotation angle in the attribute table.

In that case it would be great to apply the angle from the attribute table to the labels in order to draw them in the right direction.


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