One of the most special tools SMS has to offer is the ability to make Generic layers, which can be put to many purposes, from nutrient management homestead maps to creating special legends to communicate anything from Acres to Legal Land Descriptions.
In this example the new generic layer tool will be used to create quarter section divisions in a field, enter LLD and print with labels.
NOTE: If you are using any existing map as a guide to tracing field divisions, move it into the main map window FIRST, then go to step 1. Whenever you have multiple map layers visible you must use your transparency bar in order to ‘see’ more than one layer. Layer order (above or below) matters in this exercise.
- Bring your field boundary into view (highlight field name>Create New Map)
2. From the new layer menu choose New Generic Layer and select a category of the generic type that will be the style for this kind of map. I will declare that Generic 10 will henceforth house these maps and rules.
3. This opens an editing window. The first thing to always do when making a new generic layer is to COPY from the source layer. Once you copy from layer (right hand menu) select the layer name -boundary and copy the Spatial data which means just copy the map.
4. On this copy of the boundary select Divide by polygon tool from right hand menu and just like scissors draw a split line from outside the boundary through the field and anchor outside the boundary on other side, then right click to finish the split. Repeat for as many slits as required.
5. To check if your splits are as wished, take your Select tool from left hand legend and select one of the polygons. Each should select as separate regions. The acres will display along bottom bar. If not satisfied you can use undo arrow (top) and re-do.
6. To add other dat into this layer go to the DATA Grid tab and add the attributes you require. For this example we want to add the Legal Land Description (LLD) which is test. One easy attribute to use is the “Description” attribute which is designed to house text.
7. Enter the desired Text: Note many will have an excel or other document with this information that can be copied from that page into this text location.
8. Save to the field/year desired. Note you can also go into the Display Info Tab and give this layer a distinct name.
9. Back in the main map window set up the labelling rules for this type of layer: in this case we want to label by the LLD and the acres for each quarter section. Go to the Edit Layer Options (from icon or by right clicking on the map space). This function makes the rules of behavior for the maps.
10. Under the Label Selection tab choose the Description Attribute (move from left hand to right hand screen to select).
11. To get acres to calculate and display, select Spatial Value then Spatial Area (add to right screen) OK.
12. To make these selections the default for this “Generic 10” category of maps choose the Save Layer Setting bar along the bottom and click all items below current selection. This change means we make the settings on this map and all other maps of this type will automatically label the same way.
13. Finally: Go to the Label placement and turn on the appropriate Display styles. I recommend: Best Fit for label position on a polygon, Show Duplicate labels on, uncheck the rest and apply a font text size of 10. Again save Layer Settings as a default.
Repeat for the rest of the fields.
Karon Tracey Cowan, AgTech GIS