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Create a tool that disperses points that are on top of each other

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  • I would like a way to disperse points that fall directly on top of each other or is part of a multipoint feature.  This would be helpful when displaying different types of crimes in the same location.  I would also like a Spider diagram linking the dispersed locations back to the source location.  This is similar to the “Disperse Markers” tool, but wouldn’t require ArcInfo.

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    Posted by   begnitz  to ArcGIS DesktopDefense and IntelligencePublic Safety Apr 1, 2010

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Comments (19)

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Aug 14, 2013
I managed to do something similar with Excel.  I took all of my coordinates into excel and then generated a random number between -1500 and +1500 which was added to the orginal eastings and nrothings.  The Excel formula is:


Cell K2 contains the coordinate.  Cheap, simple, and effective.

Jun 11, 2013
If your dataset is fairly simple try this tool -

-Tom Dilts

Mar 8, 2013
Yes, I could use a tool that would disperce points / incidents that occur at the same xy locations.

Anyone have a solution??

May 30, 2012
Sorry for the double post and comparision to other software, but QGIS has a similar feature in their point dispersal rendering, and it works on the fly, without a GP-like tool to run. If I were a coder I could probably figure out how to get their code to work with ArcMap since it's open source, but I'm not. This seems like a common problem with geocoded data, but there's no elegant solution to it? Unfortunately every Esri solution I've seen has either been a GP tool, or a labeling workaround. Hopefully Esri can put some resources into this.

May 24, 2012
Old thread, but I'd like to see this as a dynamic function where zooming in changes the dispersal, plus the ability for the dispersal to respect geometry from other layers (streets) as boundaries. 

Mar 23, 2012
I would like this type of functionality for geological features where many structural measurements may be taken close together. It needs to be implemented in conjunction with the unique values renderer.

Essentially we need Maplex type functionality for feature symbols so that the position of symbols can be controlled in a similar way to the way annotation can be controlled by Maplex.

Mar 19, 2012
a very useful geoprocessing for analysis which have to be available on any arcgis version. Thank you to take into account this remark.

Mar 29, 2011
I could apply this in my field- environmental and engineering. I've been having issues with ET Geowizards since I went to 10...sigh.

Feb 15, 2011
Disperse coincident points with a user defined distance. Users should not have to rely on ET GeoWizards (Which do the job quite nicely) for something as core to GIS as this. Get it in the product.

Nov 30, 2010
 There are some nice clustering implementations with the ArcGIS API for Silverlight / WPF:

Oct 12, 2010

So basically you want disperse markers to change is license level?

Jul 22, 2010
This would be great!  I have a lot of points on top of each other but they are only represented by one point. 

Jul 14, 2010
ET Geowizards has this functionality (dispersion and attribuite/distance spider linking) although I think you need to register it to process more than 100 points.

May 18, 2010
Come on ESRI, this is a very common issue in the public safety arena.  Losing attributes is not an option.  A Spider diagram would be awesome

Ideally, allow user defined symbols, based on attribute data, to depict if the stacked incidents are just police, fire and police, etc.  With a mouse over, the Spider diagram would display.  If the user clicks the symbol the Identify could come into play with the details for each incident displayed.

Apr 28, 2010
You can visualize many points in one location if a 3D time axis is present like in this application which functions as an Arc Extension:

Apr 19, 2010
 also disperses the labels ...  

Apr 5, 2010
The "Collect Events With Rendering" tool located in the Rendering Toolset in the Spatial Statistics Toolbox is often offered as a solution for these scenerios. When doing so, you loose the underlying attributes. The result is knowing that multiple events are co-located but can't express any details.

I would like to see as a solution a way to adapt a "representation" of the existing data that either dispersed or a graduated symbol based upon the count of the co-located features.

In public safety, these displays are requested on the fly and creating a new feature class consumes too much time during live discussions.

Apr 1, 2010
This is a great idea. I am comforted to know that I'm not crazy... 
There was an old AVL extension that did this. but alas it didn't make the ArcMap cut. ESRI's workaround is to do the Disperse Marker then convert graphics to features. Problem is you lose attributes. 

Apr 1, 2010
This would be useful for many different applications.  Another idea would be to have the software automatically calculate the overlapping points and create a larger symbol or a symbol with a number to show the multiple locations.



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