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I am using ArcGIS 10, and trying to do the following:

I have a layer file of points (industrial facilities), and I would like to calculate the distance from each point to the nearest "eastern" polygon (U.S. state). I know there are tools for calculating distances from points to polygons, but I don't know how (or, if you can) specify direction of the polygon.

Any advice?

Thanks in advance.

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Do you need the nearest state that you hit on a line due east from the facility? Or the nearest state that is at all to the east (but could be farther north or farther south)? – dmahr Mar 29 '12 at 20:54
A solution appears at…. – whuber Mar 29 '12 at 21:04
do you have an ArcInfo licence? – Matthew Snape Mar 30 '12 at 9:53
Responses to the comments. I would like the distance that is due east. I do have an ArcInfo license, but I should add that I am a bit of a novice when it comes to ArcGIS. – David Apr 4 '12 at 10:07

1 Answer 1

Perhaps do a distance to all polygons (not sure if this returns a line or just a distance) then filter them by the angle of the line greater than 45 but less than 135 (everything easterlyish). Then order by distance and select the top 1... that is the logic, now you just need to code it.

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How does this solve the problem? The whole point is that distances are completely different than distances in a specified direction. The only information a distance from a point to a polygon provides (even when the closest point on the polygon is also known, and the bearing to it) is a lower bound for the easterly distance. – whuber Mar 30 '12 at 14:32

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