Labeling contour lines in ArcGIS

http://monde-geospatial.com/labeling-contour-lines-in-arcgis-2/

Contour lines are often represented by many individual line features, which can result in many more labels being placed than necessary. To avoid this problem, line features that represent contours can be treated as special types of line features. The Maplex Label Engine groups the segments of contour features, if the symbology and label match and the features are connected, and treats them as single, long features. This allows labels to be placed for the contour as a whole rather than for each segment. Contour labels can be aligned in ladders where the label will appear to step up and step down the contours in a straight (or curved) path. These ladders can be created with labels from multiple label classes. The contour labels can be aligned to the page, ensuring that the label is never placed upside down, and also aligned to the contour elevations so that the top of the label is always facing uphill.

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