I am really hoping for any and all help/feedback. Brand new to GISCAFE. Been a user for 15 years now. Running into a problem with map labeling/annotations.
Background - I need to create a map titled "State of Alabama Traffic Flow Map"
1) The higher-ups did not want GIS and they are set in their ways to the point of irrationality. But I digress.
2) That being said, the map needs to show the entire state of Alabama, with approximately 25 insets for the more populous areas. The map ITSELF is fairly simple - it simply needs to show roads, County Boundaries, State Boundary, all the highway routes (both state and federal and, in the insets, road names where applicable).
3) The size of the map (this cannot be altered in any way - remember the "sticklers" mentioned above) is 3 feet in height and 2 and a half feet in length.
4) They do NOT want a finite scale (yes, you read that correctly). They do have an approximate scale for the overall state map, but not for any insets.
5) THE FOCUS OF THE MAP IS THE TRAFFIC FLOW DENSITIES. They refuse to use any color coded scheme. They simply want "masks" around the roads that adjust in width proportional to the number of cars that travel on route segments. As you can imagine, Interstate routes near main cities such as Montgomery, Tuscaloosa, Mobile, Birmginham and Hustville have the "thickest" masks (shades in width - hopefully I am describing this accurately enough!).
Here are my problems:
1. Labeling the Shield for the State Highways and Federal Highways is nearly impossible due to the numbers that are located all over the map and insets showing the approximate numbers of travel flow density (i.e 10,320 or 31,870, etc for route segments).
2. I am brand new here and inherited this project from someone who simply up and quit and left no procedural instructions - nothing.
3. When I try to annotate or label the route segments, it becomes so unbelieably cluttered - to the point of incessant overlap - but I need to have these numbers displayed for each route segment.
So - any and all help is so very appreciated.
I have been rattling on and on with different ideas but have been unable to come up with anything that the higher-ups like. They refuse to acccept a gradual scale colorized theme of any sort. I almost feel like producing the map in Autocad, but am unsure.
I have access to 4 highly skilled programmers - excellent. But they need instructions as to what to code in order to make the labels legible, etc.
THANKS AGAIN SO VERY MUCH!