What’s New in 10.6 – Annotation Layers

Welcome to the next installation in the What’s New in 10.6 blog series. If you want to see a general overview of the new feature service capabilities in 10.6, see my other post: What’s New with Feature Services in 10.6. This week we will be focusing on the improvements made with annotation feature layers.

First things first, annotations are special types of geographic features that are stored together with other geographic data in a geodatabase. Similar to point, line, and polygon feature classes, when annotation features are stored in a geodatabase they are stored as annotation feature classes. What does this mean? Well, this means that the annotation features have an associated geographic location, but are different than simple point, line, and polygon features in that they also store information about symbolization as pictured below.

Sample Annotation Attribute Table

For those that are familiar with annotation, you know that previously you couldn’t publish annotation feature classes as feature services. Now with the 10.6 release, you can. So, how do you make use of annotation feature services? If you have ArcGIS Pro 2.1 you can publish and consume annotation feature services with ArcGIS Enterprise 10.6. You just need to make sure that your services are published to an ArcGIS Enterprise federated server where your data is stored in a registered enterprise geodatabase. Another thing to keep in mind is that you cannot publish annotation feature classes that were created in any version of ArcMap, unless you upgrade your annotation in Pro 2.1 using the Upgrade Dataset geoprocessing tool.

There are two types of annotation: standard annotation, and feature-linked annotation. standard annotation feature is placed on a map in a specific geographic location and doesn’t move unless you physically move that feature yourself. But what if you have one or multiple features and annotations that you move around frequently? In that case, you would use feature-linked annotation because having to move both the feature and annotation separately is not good for productivity, not to mention inefficient. Feature-linked annotations are connected to point, line, or polygon features. This allows you to move your feature(s) around while also maintaining the location of your annotation with respect to your feature. Simply put, move your feature and the feature-linked annotation moves with it.

Sample Annotation

Some things to consider when working with annotation in 10.6:

But wait! We’re working on adding support for annotation in the above environments in the upcoming release, so make sure to stay tuned!

If you want to know more about the annotation layer in 10.6, click here.

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