Geographic Information Systems Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for cartographers, geographers and GIS professionals. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

Please excuse my lingo, I am still learning some aspects of geo spatial and arcpy.

I have a python script that takes a shapefile. The shapefile consists of a polyline. I have traversed the polyline, done some interpolation and retrieved some points. Long story short, I'm trying to generate polygons along the polyline based on intervals of the M values. These polygons have four points (my geometries).

How can I take these geometries, or points, that are in my python script and output them into a shapefile. I know I'll have to pass my points to a function that produces a shapefile, but that is my dilemma. How exaclty do I create the function that creates my shapefile for the geometries?

share|improve this question
I added the polygon-creation tag to help you find related threads. A search turns up some promising ones, especially the Python code found at…. Would that perhaps answer your question? – whuber Feb 8 '13 at 20:47

Create a new Polyline object, then use CopyFeatures.

import arcpy
coords = [(1, 2), (3, 4), (5, 6), (7, 8)]
ar = arcpy.Array()
for x, y in coords:
    ar.add(arcpy.Point(x, y))
polyline = arcpy.Polyline(ar), r"c:\path\to\my\new.shp")
share|improve this answer
THis seems to work perfectly as far as outputting a shapefile. I wasn't aware that it'd create the projection file, an xml file, etc. If I needed to store other information in regards to the polyline (perhaps the type or something of that sort) can I alter the above code to have this information stored in one of the created files? – user1898629 Feb 11 '13 at 15:30
If you needed to add additional fields, etc, it'd be a little more complex and involve a call to CreateFeatureclass and as many AddField calls as necessary to get the columns you'd need, and then an InsertCursor to insert the values. – Jason Scheirer Feb 11 '13 at 16:14
The additional fields would be information pertaining to the polygon such as the M value at certain intervals. I'd need to store this value and a few other values in the .dbf file. Using CreateFeatureClass should help me accomplish this, correct? – user1898629 Feb 11 '13 at 16:54
Yes. CreateFeatureclass will let you enable M or Z and adding other values will require additional columns with AddField calls. – Jason Scheirer Feb 11 '13 at 16:57
oh ok. Righteous. Thanks for all your help. – user1898629 Feb 11 '13 at 17:01

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.