Simple question, can Arc take a shapefile of points, calculate which ones are at the "edges" and draw a polygon or polyline around it. I know there are masks and bounding geometry and all of that, but it just needs to draw a line around and can intersect the exterior points.

  • possible duplicate of How do I create a convex hull in ArcGIS Desktop? – PolyGeo Aug 14 '14 at 21:14
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    It would be good to provide a picture to show what you're after. Radouxju has mentioned the minimum bounding geometry which will give the exterior of the group as defined mathematically but this may not be what you consider to be exterior. – Michael Stimson Aug 14 '14 at 21:19
  • Although the question is ambiguous, it likely is answered by threads describing how to compute convex hulls, "alpha" hulls, bounding boxes, minimal bounding circles, and other such envelopes. To find the answer to the particular question you might have in mind, please search our site on the relevant keywords. – whuber Aug 14 '14 at 22:12
  • I've been through convex hulls and bounding geometry, none of which like to follow the exterior points, which is what I mentioned in the question. Convex hull typically gives me a starburst effect and bounding geometry can create a large concave area where points do not exist. I have not tried radouxju's suggestion however and will give that a whirl. Again though, if my perimeter points are within the boundary of the MBG, then I don't think it will pick that up anyway and it leaves me at the same spot. – twistr25 Aug 15 '14 at 12:07

you can create a convex hull using "minimum bounding geometry". This will create a polygon instead of a line, but you can either convert this polygon to line, or directly use "select by attribute" with the spatial query "touch the boundary of"

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