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How can I create a shapefile using Python in ArcGIS 10?

I have lat & long. From this I need Python code which will create a shapefile and display it in ArcGIS 10.


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Are you trying to create a point shapefiles, or do you need to turn your lat/long points into lines or polygons? –  RyanDalton Oct 24 '11 at 14:41
Hi I have lat and long and need an array to add all the lat and long in the same shape file –  Mehul Oct 24 '11 at 17:12

3 Answers 3

up vote 11 down vote accepted

For creating points:

ptList =[[20.000,43.000],[25.500, 45.085],[26.574, 46.025]]
pt = arcpy.Point()
ptGeoms = []
for p in ptList:
    pt.x = p[0]
    pt.Y = p[1]

arcpy.CopyFeatures_management(ptGeoms, r"C:\Temp\test.shp")

It will return a message like this:

<Result 'C:\\Temp\\test.shp'>
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Also how can i add the same shape file through python in ArcGIS 10 –  Mehul Oct 24 '11 at 17:15
u will run python interpreter from Geoprocessing > Python then first of all write import arcpy and finally add code line by line... i hope you have asked this... :) –  Aragon Oct 25 '11 at 9:14
I believe it should be pt.X (uppercase X)! That took me half an hour to find! –  user1650538 21 hours ago

You can create a shapefile in Python using the Create Feature Class tool. There is an example at the bottom of the page.

To populate the shapefile with your lat & long data, you'll need to use an Insert Cursor.

Perhaps you can load your lat & long data as a list into Python, then iterate through the array populating the rows of your new shapefile with the insert cursor.

EDIT, response to comment

A python list of coordinates can be constructed like this:

latLonList = [[40.000,-75.000],[39.998,-75.432],[39.981,-75.343]]

Then to iterate through coordinates in the list (and print them, for example), do this:

for coord in latLonList:
    print "lat: " + str(coord[0])
    print "lon: " + str(coord[1])

If I'm interpreting your second question correctly, to add a layer to an mxd file, see this post on GIS.SE.

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Hi Can you please give me a sample code which has list and array in it ? –  Mehul Oct 24 '11 at 17:13
Also how can i add the same shape file through python in ArcGIS 10 –  Mehul Oct 24 '11 at 17:14
I did look at the post but i am not able to implement it. Can you suggest me any other method or may be a sample code with explanation –  Mehul Oct 25 '11 at 9:09

Another option would be to just use the existing arcpy geoprocessing tools, see code below.

   # Import arcpy module
import arcpy

# Local variables:
table_dbf = "C:\\temp\\table.dbf"
table_Layer2 = "table_Layer2"
point3_shp = "C:\\temp\\point3.shp"

# Process: Make XY Event Layer
arcpy.MakeXYEventLayer_management(table_dbf, "x_coord", "y_coord", table_Layer2, "", "")

# Process: Copy Features
arcpy.CopyFeatures_management(table_Layer2, point3_shp, "", "0", "0", "0")

mxd = arcpy.mapping.MapDocument(r"C:\temp\Untitled.mxd")
df = arcpy.mapping.ListDataFrames(mxd, "Layers")[0]
addLayer = arcpy.mapping.Layer(point3_shp)
arcpy.mapping.AddLayer(df, addLayer, "BOTTOM")
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Also how can i add the same shape file through python in ArcGIS 10 –  Mehul Oct 24 '11 at 17:15
@Mehul, See my updated code. –  artwork21 Oct 24 '11 at 19:01
Can you please explain me from where will i get .dbf file and also some how i am unable to implement this code. –  Mehul Oct 25 '11 at 9:08
what is the meaning of x_coord and y_coord in arcpy.MakeXYEventLayer_management(table_dbf, "x_coord", "y_coord", table_Layer2, "", "") and what is it mean? –  Mehul Oct 27 '11 at 7:24
@Mehul, DBF is just the tabular file that makes up a shapefile (e.g. .shp, .shx, & .dbf). The x_coord and y_coord are just the two fields in the .dbf file that contain the long/lat coordinates. These fields are most likely different for you database. –  artwork21 Nov 17 '11 at 19:28

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