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I am looking for a Python script that does the following:

  1. Uses a point (from a point shapefile) as the origin.
  2. Creates about 3 km line from point
  3. Based on an azimuth provided in the original point shapefile.
  4. Creates new entry in another shapefile with the new line

I imagine this involves trig, but I can't decide the best way to go about it.

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up vote 9 down vote accepted

You may not have to get too sophisticated--ArcGIS 10 has a tool to do just what you describe called Bearing Distance to Line (Data Management). You can even input a point shapefile as long as it has the attributes you need (i.e. X field, Y field, Distance Field, and Bearing). Of course you can add this tool to an arcpy script using:

arcpy.BearingDistanceToLine_management(in_table, out_featureclass, 
     x_field, y_field, distance_field, {distance_units}, bearing_field, 
     {bearing_units}, {line_type}, {id_field}, {spatial_reference})

enter image description here

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That works! Thanks! –  angelspatial Dec 12 '12 at 0:25
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