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Automatically re-arrange aircraft labels on the map

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1       Introduction 

Automatically re-arrange aircraft labels on the map 

In this topic, you learn how to enable a control that automatically re-arranges aircraft labels displaying on the map to improve the information display in areas of high air traffic volume. 

We estimate that this will take 3 minutes to complete.

2       Detailed explanation 

Setting aircraft labels to automatically re-arrange on the map 

You learned about customizing the content and display of aircraft labels in another topic (Customize and display aircraft labels or for N-Tracking administrators, Aircraft labels). You know that you can click on the labels on the map to re-position them, moving clockwise, in cardinal directions. A pointer from the body of the label always points at the associated aircraft.

In areas of high air traffic, particularly if you are using aircraft labels that contain the maximum number of data elements (10), you may encounter situations in which those labels overlap. Clicking the labels to change their positions around the associated aircraft icon may still not resolve the issue if there are many aircraft in a relatively small area.

N-Tracking provides you with one more tool -- a control that you can set to automatically re-arrange the aircraft labels on the map every 10 minutes. Review the following example to learn how to set that toggle.

In this topic, you learn how to set N-Tracking to automatically re-arrange aircraft labels. When aircraft are flying relatively close to each other, labels that include several flight data elements may overlap, making them less helpful.

When you set the Auto arrange option, N-Tracking automatically re-distributes and re-draws the displayed aircraft labels every 10 minutes, in addition to the rearranging that happens whenever you zoom in or out on the map.

First, see what you can do with the label display by "manually" re-positioning them.

Click the label on the right (AFR842) of the two aircraft over the Atlantic. 

Interaction 1

Interaction 1 Click aircraft label AFR842.

You re-positioned the label from above the aircraft (north) to the right of the aircraft (east). 

You can see the label pointer on the left side of the label, pointing at the AFR842 icon. The label on the left has a pointer that points south at the AFR852 icon.

The two labels are readable, but you can improve on this display.
 

Click the aircraft label for AFR852 enough times to better position the label for visibility. 

Interaction 1

Interaction 1 Click the AFR852 aircraft label.

In this example, the AFR852 label is quite hidden after the first click. The label is east of the icon.

Be sure to click right near its bottom edge this time. 

Interaction 1

Interaction 1 Click the AFR852 aircraft label.

The label moves to the south position. 

Interaction 1

Interaction 1 Click the AFR852 aircraft label.

Your last click moves the label to the west position and at the 500 nm zoom level, the two labels are finally distinct from each other.

As you can see, these flights are quite close to each other, so you will have the overlap issue again shortly. 

A better approach to solving the label overlap issue is to use the Auto-arrange aircraft labels slider, which you find in the Layers pane.

Interaction 1

Interaction 1 Click the Layers button.

The Auto-arrange aircraft labels slider is off by default.

The first time you enable the slider, re-drawing all the flights on the map may take some time, but from then onwards, the aircraft labels will be automatically re-arranged every 10 minutes (as well as when you zoom in and out on the map). 

Notice this other pair of aircraft flying over the English Channel. Their labels overlap. 

Interaction 1

Interaction 1 Click the Auto-arrange aircraft labels slider.

Despite the proximity of the two aircraft, the labels for the two flights over the English Channel are now completely readable. 

 



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