What is Grids and Graticules?

Grids and Graticules is a suite of tools that creates grids, graticules, and borders for a variety of map products including nautical and aeronautical charts, and topographic, parcel, street, and tourist maps. Grids and Graticules consists of the Grids and Graticules Designer, the Make Grids and Graticules Layer geoprocessing tool, the Add Grid Data tool, and the Grid Layout View tool. The grids that are produced contain geographic location indicators based on user-specified shapes, scales, coordinate systems, and units.

The following table lists the key differences between standard ArcMap grids and graticules, and the grids produced by the Make Grids and Graticules Layer geoprocessing tool. Use this table as a guide when determining which tool to use to create your grids.

ArcMap grids and graticules

Production Mapping grid and graticule layer

Created as graphics

Created as features

Visible in layout view

Visible in data and layout view

Updates dynamically

Static—New features must be created for each new extent.

Displays single precision, values entered in double

User-defined precision up to the accuracy of the geodatabase

Stored and distributed in styles or MXD

Stored and distributed as XML files or in geodatabase

Basic labeling formats

Enhanced grid annotation styles

Uses data frame Clip to Shape feature

Uses masking feature

Data frame extent can be coincident with map extent.

Data frame must extend beyond map extent.

Supports creation of graticules, measured grids, MGRS, reference grids

Supports creation of graticules, measured grids, MGRS (enhanced), calibrated/scaled borders/neatlines

Graticule in the geographic coordinate system of the data frame

Grid components can be in any coordinate system.

One UTM zone per measured grid

Multiple UTM zones per grid component (UTM zone convergence—Zippers)

ArcMap grids and graticules vs. Grids and graticules layers

The Make Grids and Graticules layer geoprocessing tool creates feature classes and features modeled as cartographic grid components in a specified file, ArcSDE, or personal geodatabase. Feature classes store the basic components of a grid.

Grids and graticules feature classes include:

The following is a grid produced from the SoCal.xml sample grid definition file:

Example of a grouped grid layer

Key points when using Grids and graticules layers

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