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Home - General / All posts - Mfd 9 label placement conflict resolution
Mike Pelletier

1,570 post(s)
#20-Dec-18 16:18

The discussion about label rotation, made me think about the issue of label placement conflict resolution. Mfd 8 dealt with this with a simple layering of labels in the map. So far it seems Mfd 9 is heading the same way. My purpose in bringing this up is to encourage Mfd to lay the groundwork early that allows more creativity and see if the community has any ideas. might be the best in the business at labeling. ArcGIS has lots of good looking conflict resolution tools on the surface but they don't actually seem to work most of the time. Tools like stacking labels, smaller fonts, leader lines, etc. So the software first tries to label simply. If it cannot fit, it will try stacking or using smaller font, or a leader line based on user settings. It could also prioritize internally within the layer based on a rule associated with a column in the layer like population or size.

It could be the style pane for each label component allows checking options for manipulating labels to squeeze them in and the priority between label components is set by location in the stack of layers in the map. That seems like it is the current path.

Alternatively, what if there was a pane just for labels (or maybe just in the layer pane somehow) that allows prioritizing all the labels in the map. It would allow a dialogue that could allow prioritizing for example 1) country, 2) main rivers, 3) main highways but only label a very small country with the base labeling methods if it doesn't conflict with base labeling method of rivers. This will and should get complicated.

Good labeling is an important component of great cartography. Here's hoping Mfd aims high :-)

geozap124 post(s)
#20-Dec-18 17:09

In cases where the result has to be good looking any AI is difficult to do better job that a human. In our case a semi-automatic label placement wizard-like tool could be helpful I think. A tool that finds label overlaps, do an iteration (by moving around the map) to show them one-by-one to the user, proposing a couple of solutions based on rules set beforehand by the user, and let the user accept one of the proposed solutions or set his own. In the case there are really a lot of label conflicts, this way of managing them can be very time consuming, so an "auto-correct all" option should be available too.


6,292 post(s)
#20-Dec-18 22:03

A label placement factory coming from something like an enhanced topology factory (Mfd8 business tools)

geozap124 post(s)
#21-Dec-18 08:00

Something like this, but with the label manual editing taking place in the Map itself, and not in the factory window, in order to have all editing tools available for maps and to be able to rearrange more that one or two labels if needed, maybe abbreviate manually a label (change its text in the label's drawing table), maybe move a bit a point symbol that overlaps with labels etc.

Some years ago I had sent a suggestion for something like this in Topology factory itself: Correcting errors in a Map and not in the factory window, in order to have more options and total control on what is corrected and how. I had also asked for the option to mark problematic places (with a point in a separate drawing) in order to treat them manually afterwards, instead of having to correct them through the factory window. Same could be asked for a Label factory too: Mark problematic labels and let the user iterate through them manually.


6,292 post(s)
#21-Dec-18 09:53

I had a very similar feature request. Topology factory as the analyzing tool should be able to control linked views of the World pane in Mfd8. So the editing could be done in a map customized to show all the necessary background and allow snapping to other layers ....

I guess this is the most flexible solution. In Mfd9 this could be done by something like a 'living interactive location' and work for a Labels Factory just the same way.

Mike Pelletier

1,570 post(s)
#21-Dec-18 15:47

Like both your comments. If the label factory can fit in a pane that would be good so a dialogue doesn't get in the way of seeing the map. Perhaps labels that conflict are shown in a light grey or some other means to show what labels are not being placed. The user could then manually edit as needed to make them fit or change priorities.

While AI won't be as good as manual human customizing, the results they get at are pretty amazing. Of course it all will come at a processing cost, which will be especially important to gauge with web mapping where various zoom levels change the label placement. Good labels in web maps can can save time for users who would otherwise have to click objects to get their name.


560 post(s)
#13-Jan-19 05:13

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