I have a polygon shapefile of my country, but the borders of it are not accurate (according to Google Earth maps borders).

I searched the web and I could not find an accurate shapefile for the borders. I drew the borders on Google Earth as polylines, then I imported them into ArcGIS 10.1 for Desktop.

Now, the old shapefiles of my country are very good, except for the borders line.

How do I cut and reshape the old polygon according the new polyline?

Some places need extending while some others need to shrink.

  • 1
    In the Online Help there should be procedures for Reshape Feature and Trace documented that will enable you to do this. – PolyGeo Feb 11 '15 at 10:17
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    I would rather trust gadm data than Google Earth. – radouxju Feb 11 '15 at 13:31

I think what you are looking for is to do a "reshape" of your current polygons. You want to update these polygons based on your new polylines.

You can do this by using the "reshape" function. I'm linking you to the help doc from esri below:


A trick that I use to make life easier, is to select the feature I want to change, then right-click the feature I want to use as my sketch. Then you can select "replace sketch" from the menu, press F2 to commit the sketch, and you should be good to go.

  • Along with reshaping, I use the "Edit Vertices" tool in order to extend and shrink polylines. – Nomkins Feb 11 '15 at 16:13

moreover ArcGIS editor tools you can get help from Snap Tool, it would be very useful if new boundary is in polyline and old boundary is in polygon, your case is similar to case 3 in below images Based on ArcGIS help manual: enter image description here The Snap Environment parameter allows for the vertices of the input features to be snapped to the vertices, edges, and end points of multiple layers or feature classes. When multiple snapping rules are given, they are prioritized as follows: from top to bottom in the tool dialog or from left to right in scripting.

The input features' vertices will be snapped to the nearest vertex, edge, or end point within the specified distance.

In the Snap Environment parameter, multiple snap rules can be designated using the same layer or feature class with a different type (END | VERTEX | EDGE).

If a layer or feature class with a selection is used as the input, only vertices of the selected features will be snapped.

When snapping features in one feature class to features in the same feature class, the feature with the lower Object or Feature ID will usually be snapped to the feature with the higher Object ID. For example, if points OBJECTID 1 and OBJECTID 2 are within the snapping distance, the point with OBJECTID 1 will be snapped to the location of the point with OBJECTID 2 (and not vice versa). Use the Sort tool to rearrange features so this snapping behavior can be controlled.

When the tool is used in ArcMap, the Snap Environment of the application is defaulted into the Snap Environment parameter, where it can be modified if desired.

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