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What is a view?

A view is an interactive map that lets you display, explore, query and analyze geographic data in ArcView.

A view defines the geographic data that will be used and how it will be displayed, but it doesn't contain the geographic data files themselves. Instead, a view references these source data files. This means that a view is dynamic, because it reflects the current status of the source data. If the source data changes, a view that uses this data will automatically reflect the change the next time you open the project containing this view.

The same data can be displayed on more than one view. Different users may have different views on the same data. If you are using ArcView to help perform marketing analysis you will probably want to use and display data differently than if you are using it to help perform facilities management or environmental planning. With ArcView, a different view of the data can be created for each application you have.

In ArcView you can use existing views or create your own. You can modify views as your needs change. You can also create views for others to use, in which case you may lock some or all of the views' contents so they can't be modified. If you have Avenue installed you can extend the power of ArcView by creating custom functions, user interfaces and applications based on your views.

A view's themes

A view is actually a collection of themes. A theme represents a distinct set of geographic features in a particular geographic data source. For example, a view of a country might have one theme representing cities, one theme representing roads, one representing rivers, etc. A view's themes are listed in its Table of Contents. See What is a theme? .

The view user interface

A view is displayed inside a window. When you resize a view's window the view redraws to fit the new size of the window. For example, when you zoom in on a view to display a particular area or extent, this area will always be visible in the view's window, even after you resize the window.

On the left side of the view's window is the 'Table of Contents'. A view's Table of Contents not only lists the themes in the view, but it also lets you control how the themes are displayed and the order in which they are drawn. You can also turn individual themes on or off depending on your needs.

When you are working with a view, you will see the view's menus, buttons and tools.

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See also

ArcView basics

What is a theme?