I have two shapefiles.

One shows the political regions of Scotland. political regions of Scotland

The other shows the political constituencies of Scotland. political constituencies of Scotland

I need to simplify them to display in a web page. The problem is that when I simplify them there are small discrepancies between edges on the regions compared with the same edges in the constituencies.

Is there any known tool or technique I could use to allow me to do the following:

  • Simplify the regions shapefile and the constituencies shapefiles
  • Ensure all edges which are common to both are the exact same
  • Export a simplified regions shapefile and simplified constituencies shapefile

Up until now I've been trying it with Mapshaper.org and experimented with the different simplification algorithms and ratios. But I've not found a way to make it sync common edges between both. I'm aware of QGIS and ArcGIS, but have no idea if this kind of thing would be possible in them.


Take a look at the Integrate (Data Management) tool. Input your shape files, choose a good tolerance, and run the tool. Be aware that it modifies the input data, so perhaps create some copies of your files to work with. Good luck!

  • Thanks. From what I can tell, that would be useful if there were 2 nearby polygons in the same shape file and you wanted them to kind of snap together. Would this should still work if the boundaries I'm comparing are in different shape files? – elMarquis Aug 13 '15 at 14:01
  • I'm thinking it would, you can add both to the tool. I'm assuming it would integrate both of them. – Maksim Aug 13 '15 at 14:15
  • Ok. Seems what I'm wanting to do is use this feature to snap the edges of features in one layer to another layer. – elMarquis Aug 13 '15 at 14:18

i believe an additional solution would be to create a topology for the two datasets with rules like polygons must not overlap or must not have dangles/slivers etc. Then run your topology tool bar and your returned results will show each and every place the topology is incorrect. You would then manually go in and merge the errors into a the correct shape.

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