The two types of overview diagrams

Overview diagrams are a way to show the extent of one data frame within another data frame. There are two types of overview diagrams that can be added to a map or map series:

For both fixed background and centered extent overview diagrams, extent rectangles and data frame managers are used to specify the display for the selected area of interest (AOI). However, in general, extent rectangles are particularly useful with fixed background overview diagrams, while data frame managers are more often used with centered extent overview diagrams.

For a fixed background overview diagram, a data frame manager is used to center the background data. For centered extent overview diagrams, the data frame manager is used to center the AOI.

Once a data frame manager is added to the overview diagram, the rotation angle you define will depend on the overview diagram type:

The spatial reference for each type of overview diagram can also be set as follows:

When defining the Scale and Extent dialog box for either overview diagram type, the most commonly used options are Dynamic Scale or Fixed Scale.

Dynamic scale has the following options:

Choosing Fixed Scale provides the following options:

When defining the Dynamic Scale or Fixed Scale option, you can choose one of the following Unit Types:

The Area of Interest dialog box can be used to specify an intersection area of interest for overview diagrams that contain a fixed background, but the fixed background needs to change based on its relative location to the map sheet area of interest. For example, when you make a county atlas, you can use this dialog box to create an overview diagram showing which state the county is in as a fixed background, so that when you switch to a county in a different state, the background data also switches to the new state.

The options include:

In the Result area of the Area of Interest dialog box, for the Intersection Area of Interest option, you can choose from the following: