Essential Production Mapping vocabulary (Production Mapping)

Below are common terms that are encountered when using Production Mapping.

Area of interest

A polygon feature that represents the specific geographic extent of the instance. This could be an index feature from a feature class that contains all the chart or map extents for a region or the world. Examples include a country, region, or area based on an index of map extents. Area of interest is abbreviated as AOI.

Batch job

A batch job is a group of checks that can be run against a data workspace. Batch jobs can be used to ensure the data conforms to the product specification your organization uses to create data and hard-copy and digital products.


A check is a tool that is used to validate data against a specific condition. For instance, the Geometry on Geometry check can be used to ensure that buildings have not been digitized on top of lakes.

Composite template

A composite template is a group of two or more feature templates that can be used to create multiple features with one edit sketch. Composite templates define which templates will be used and what order the features will be created in. Specific construction tools have been designed to determine how the features will be created. For example, you can create a composite template for a line layer and a point layer, but it is the construction tool that will determine if the point is created at the start of the line, in the middle of the line, or at every vertex along the line.

Feature-level metadata

Feature-level metadata is attributes on a feature and is used to store metadata about the feature. Feature-level metadata can include information such as the following:

Feature template

Creating features is accomplished through the use of feature templates. Feature templates define all the information required to create a feature: the layer where a feature will be stored, the attributes a feature is created with, and the default tool used to create that feature. Templates also have a name, description, and tags that can help you find and organize them. If templates are not present when you start editing, they are automatically created for each layer in the current editing workspace. Templates are saved in the map document (.mxd) and the layer file (.lyr).

The terms "feature template" and "template" are used interchangeably in the Editing help.

Field configurations

Define custom Production Mapping properties about your fields. This includes how the field is displayed in tool dialog boxes and windows, such as Feature Manager, what type of control is used to edit the field, or if the field is considered feature-level metadata. Field configuration can also be used to determine which attributes will be used when dissolving features with the Production Dissolve tool and how the other attributes will be populated. Field configurations are created using the Manage Field Configurations command, which can be accessed from the Product Library window.


A geographic extent on a product. An instance is associated with a data frame on the map document. A product can have one or more instances on it, which means it can also have more than one data frame (one for each instance). The instance can contain the main map data or be used as an inset.

Positional accuracy assessment

Positional accuracy assessment is the process of determining the quantifiable value that represents the positional difference between two geospatial layers or between a geospatial layer and the actual terrain on which the layer is based.

Product library

Geodatabase that allows multiuser environments to centralize information and behavior for cartographic and digital data production. Production business rules, documents, and spatial information are stored inside the product library, allowing an organization to enforce and standardize production. Data model information, data validation rules, geographic extents, symbology rules, and map documents can all be managed inside the product library as examples of production business rules.

A product library can also contain the data for production and be a production database. When this is the case, the geodatabase contains tables from the schema of a product library and production database.

Production database

A production database contains the data you are using for production tasks such as creating and updating features. Depending on the data model you are using, data in a production database can be used to create a digital or hard-copy map or chart or a specific type of data.

Reviewer table

The Reviewer table is a container for all the results of the checks and any manual quality reviews that have been performed on data. It provides a way to track the records from when they are recorded in the table through verification of the correction.

Reviewer workspace

The Reviewer workspace is a geodatabase that contains the tables and datasets associated with a Reviewer session. The tables contain the results of the Reviewer checks that have been run on the data as well as any customizations that have been applied through the Reviewer Table Properties dialog box. Advanced properties that have been configured for the Reviewer sessions are also stored in this workspace.


A subgrouping of a product class based on a common geographic area or presentation style. A series is useful for subdividing product classes that have a large number of products. Some common geographic series can be based on a state, country, or any part thereof. A series could also be defined based on appearance such as a common page size or layout for a product class that produces maps.

Straight line diagram

A diagram of a linear referencing route feature where the route is depicted as a straight line instead of showing the geometry of the feature. Such diagrams include one straight line to represent the route and additional rows above or below the route to depict events or features along the road. Straight line diagrams are often used for highway or pipeline management.

Visual specification

A collection of rules that manage representation symbology and label fields for many layers. You can apply these rules to multiple layers using the Calculate Visual Specifications tool.