Working with GIS, everyone encounters those problems that he knows there is a solution to, but he has no idea how to fix. Dealing with overlapping points has been a persistent example of such a problem for me. The other day, I was working with a file that contained several points with identical locations. In this case, the precise location of the points was less important than depicting the number of occurrences in the general region. I still wanted to show points on the map and did not want to show the number of occurrences in an enclosing polygon. Therefore, I needed a way to spread my points out.
After briefly scouring the ESRI site I found this guide for separating points based on labels. Essentially, this documents gives instructions to remove the symbols for the points in question and to enable the labels, but replacing the label text with symbols. Now symbols for the points show up where the labels would normally appear. I used this in conjunction with the labeling tools in the Maplex extension in ArcMap to gain a little more control over how the labels would be dispersed and to provide more offset.
This solution is only appropriate in certain scenarios, but it is a quick fix to a problem that I frequently encounter.
Does anyone else use a different solution to this problem?