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Thread: How to acheive functionality of Military Overlay Editor (Leadering and Stacking)?

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    Muhammad Munir Afsar
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    Default How to acheive functionality of Military Overlay Editor (Leadering and Stacking)?

    Hi..ESRI strongly recommends to migrate from Military Overlay Editor and use the in-built functionality of ArcGIS Desktop. However, I am loss at how to achieve the same level of functionality such as leadering (e.g. showing symbols/ groups of symbols other than actual location to improve map readability while a line is drawn from the symbol to the actual location) and stacking (e.g. where symbols belonging to certain order of battle/ present in geographic area could be stacked together)? From functional point of view, these are important. How these can be implemented both in Desktop as well as web based applications? Regards

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    Chris Moore
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    Default Re: How to acheive functionality of Military Overlay Editor (Leadering and Stacking)?

    There is no-built in capability in Military Features (http://resources.arcgis.com/en/help/...0000000p000000) to do this.

    However a custom GP Tool might be a good way to expose such a capability across the product stack. Using the HigherFormation field, such a tool could produce a desired output feature class.

    There are some examples of GP Tools that extend Military Features in this Github repo: https://github.com/Esri/military-feature-toolbox - these example do things like convert features to Xml messages, or import/export to non Military Feature formats.

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    Muhammad Munir Afsar
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    Default Re: How to acheive functionality of Military Overlay Editor (Leadering and Stacking)?

    Mr Chris Moore Thanks for the pointer. It seems it would be a difficult nut to crack. Don't know instead of taking the functionality of MOLE to server and web applications, it has been depreciated.

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    brian duenas
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    Default Re: How to acheive functionality of Military Overlay Editor (Leadering and Stacking)?

    Hi, I'm currently running 10.2.1 and also looking for the functionality of the MOLE such as the toggle leadering and stacking of military features. Do we have any workaround to achieve these features again on 10.2.1? Thanks

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    Chris Moore
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    Default Re: How to acheive functionality of Military Overlay Editor (Leadering and Stacking)?

    Decluttering through various mechanisms such as a "stack" (putting the symbols on top of each other) and a "leader" (showing a graph from the parent to the children), manual (letting the user move the symbol somewhere else, but draw a line to the original point) and many others is a subject that comes up from time to time, but unfortunately, it is not functionality that has been implemented with ArcGIS Military Symbology since MOLE. I'm not the best one to answer this, but in my mind there are several reasons why this hasn't been implemented yet, including that the Army Field Manual that showed this functionality was not well defined (it was a single, generic diagram that offered no details), there seems to lot of disagreement on the best approach to do this, it complicated the workflow/UI, and several others.

    Not sure about your environment, but if you are using Desktop only - then what I describe below would need to be done in a GP Tool. If you are an Engine Developer then you could implement declutter in different Engine environments.

    But however you implement, it actually is not that hard to create this functionality from scratch. You create a dictionary/hashtable with the HigherFormation (or circle if using a geometry/circle to sort units) as the key and the child units as the list pointed to by this key and then draw the symbols from this higher formation's center. There are some(perhaps many) additional details, especially if this is going to be interactive, such as the need to store the original (before decluttering) position, but they are fairly straightforward & the best part is that you can get this decluttering behavior exactly like you want.

    Hope this helps - no one likes to be told that some feature they like & use isn't there anymore, but sometimes features that are not well-defined don't always make sense to continue to invest in and port to new environments.

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