Parcel Annotations in GeoServer (with some Maplex help)


We have a guest blogger today– Ramon, a bright and hard-working intern I’ve had the pleasure of working with for over a year.  If you’re looking for someone versed in Postgre/PostGIS/GeoServer/OpenLayers, Ramon’s been my rock as we’ve been building our internal system, doing everything from basic grunt work to esoteric trouble-shooting.  I’m trying hard not to fall on my face now that he’s moved on.

We wanted to take advantage of the advance labeling of Maplex for parcels in GeoServer.  GeoServer SLDs don’t yet (I think) have automatic rotation for best fit for polygons, but Maplex (an ESRI label extension that’s rolled in with the ArcINFO license in ArcGIS desktop) does.  Here’s how we took advantage of that:

The general procedure to generate the attribute table is as follows: (Note: It is best to do this in sections because in the limitations of labels that could be generated per annotation feature)
1) Generate the labels using Maplex as the label engine in Arcmap.
2) Convert the labels into annotation (in a database)
3) Join the annotation table back to the original polygon that needs labeled.
4) Export the dataset to create a new shapefile with the combined attribute table of the original shapefile and “annotation feature”
5) Import the shapefile to PostgreSQL

Notes: I added the following fields to the shapefie before importing it to PostgreSQL
a) acreage – area of the parcel in acres
b) res_prop – “Y” if parcel is within 1500 ft of our area of interest, otherwise “N”
c) ang – small integer conversion of the “Angle” value generated by Maplex (this may be scrapped from the workflow in the future)
d) Rot_Ang – the rotation angle in terms of Geoserver convention.
– calculated as “zero” minus “ang” (see the UPDATE SQL below)
e.g. UPDATE base.parcel_annotations_med SET rot_ang = 0 – ang;


This final step step converts annotation rotation values, which are rotated from horizontal up to 90 degrees either in a positive or negative to GeoServer label rotation convention, which run the full arc of a circle.

We’ll have a post that follows with the final SLD, and screen shot of the great labeling effect.  Stay posted.

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