The Query and Filter tools are very useful when it comes to identifying specific map features. The tools appear to be similar, but one tool may be more useful than the other depending on the situation. For this post, we will explain how and when to use each tool.
In general, the Query tool is useful when you need to find specific data. The Filter tool allows you to customize what your map tells you.
To begin, the Query and Filter tools can be accessed under the Home Tab in the Find Data section:
Query: The Query tool allows you to identify features on the map based on specific attributes. You must first select the Query button and choose a layer from the Data Source dropdown. For this post we will use Trees as an example.
Clicking on the blue underlined text below your layer will give you the ability to set and change query criteria. The dropdowns from left to right let you specify which attribute you want to search on, the operator to use, and a value to compare against. Operations consist of “contains, does not contain, =, or ><, etc.” Query criteria may be expanded by clicking “Add Another Condition” for multi-attribute queries.
Finally, before searching you can select ‘Current Extent’ from the Spatial Filter dropdown if you would like to limit your search, or ‘None’ if you would like to search the entire map.
Once you click ‘Search,’ your results will display on the map as well as a list view:
Query is a nice tool for segregating a specific attribute or attribute range amongst a data set within a layer. It is easy and convenient for finding quantities, identifying their feature locations, or singling out a feature to conduct edits.
Filter: The Filter tool uses the same criteria as the Query tool, though it operates on your map in a different way. You’ll see how in a minute. First, select the tool from the home tab. Once done, a window will appear that looks very similar to the Query tool:
At the top, you can select your target layer from the drop down menu. Then select “Add Another Condition” so you can target a specific attribute field as well as a unique value from the attribute field. Also, you have the operator field, which is located between the attribute selection drop down list and the unique values drop down list.
Once parameters are set for the search, press “Filter” and your results will show on the left as follows:
Notice all features that fall outside of our filter function have been removed from the map. Every tree that is displayed is an Oak that has a diameter >= 5 cm.
This is where the Filter and Query tools differ. The Filter tool is valuable for creating maps that only show the feature of interest. Filter eliminates clutter within a data set and allows your audience to focus on the specifics of your map search.
That’s it for this week’s post. Make sure to tune into next week’s #TipTuesday.