I have a set of polygons I have calculated the centroids of, but am having trouble finding a way to output these values to a point shapefile. I dabbled with arcpy.MakeXYEvents_management, but it only creates a temporary layer file.

• you can export that XY event table to a new feature class. – crmackey Dec 16 '15 at 20:50
• Wow! A lot of solutions. I am in. This gis.stackexchange.com/questions/147790/… will create the centre of polygon's largest inscribed circle and transfer all visible fields into output point feature class. A bit slow though... – FelixIP Dec 16 '15 at 23:32
• I'll have to remember that @FelixIP, that code is quite nice and I can see situations where it would come in handy. – Michael Stimson Dec 17 '15 at 1:07
• @MichaelMiles-Stimson thanks. Definitely helped here gis.stackexchange.com/questions/166230/… although it won't work on donuts and multipart polygons – FelixIP Dec 17 '15 at 1:19

Here is an arcpy soloution:

import os, sys, arcpy

InFC = sys.argv
OutFC = sys.argv

#split the output into directory and name
Folder = os.path.dirname(OutFC)
Name   = os.path.basename(OutFC)

# Get the existins spatial reference as it's going to match
desc = arcpy.Describe(InFC)
SR   = desc.spatialReference

# create or append
if not arcpy.Exists(OutFC):
arcpy.CreateFeatureclass_management(Folder,Name,"POINT",spatial_reference = SR)

# open up the 'writer'
with arcpy.da.InsertCursor(OutFC,"SHAPE@XY") as iCur:
with arcpy.da.SearchCursor(InFC,"SHAPE@") as sCur:
# loop through each polygon in the InFC
for sRow in sCur:
cent = sRow.centroid          # get the centroid
iCur.insertRow([(cent.X,cent.Y)])# write it to the new feature class


This creates a new feature class, opens an insert cursor, loops through each geometry in the InFC and writes the centroid property to the output.. note that multi-part geometries will not have a centroid per part but rather a single centroid for the whole geometry.. it's not much more difficult to loop through the parts - let's keep this example fairly simple though to show the basics.

• +1 for beating me to the punch with a nice concise example! – crmackey Dec 16 '15 at 21:41

This should do the trick:

import arcpy
import os

def polysToPoints(in_polys, out_points):
"""converts polygons to centroids

in_polys -- input polygons
out_points -- output points
"""
ws, name = os.path.split(out_points)
sr = arcpy.Describe(in_polys).spatialReference
arcpy.management.CreateFeatureclass(ws, name, 'POINT', template=in_polys, spatial_reference=sr)

# populate records
fields = ['SHAPE@'] + [f.name for f in arcpy.ListFields(out_points) if f.type not in ('OID', 'Geometry')]
with arcpy.da.InsertCursor(out_points, fields) as irows:
with arcpy.da.SearchCursor(in_polys, fields) as rows:
for r in rows:
irows.insertRow((arcpy.PointGeometry(r.centroid),) + r[1:])
return out_points

if __name__ == '__main__':

polys = r'C:\path_to_your\polys.shp'
points = r'C:\path_to_your\points.shp'
polysToPoints(polys, points)

• Haha wow, @Michael Miles-Stimson posted something very similar right before me...The only thing mine does differently is adds all the field values with each record. – crmackey Dec 16 '15 at 21:40
• I like that, it's good to have all the fields copied... +1 from me. How about multi-part polygons/polylines? They aren't common, except for holes, but appear often enough to cause problems. – Michael Stimson Dec 17 '15 at 1:06
• Yeah, my example does not account for that. It would be easy enough though to iterate through each part (which returns an array) build a polygon object from that array and generate a centroid from that and append to a geometry for a multipoint feature class. – crmackey Dec 17 '15 at 20:52

shapelib library is ideal for this task.
No depedecies, just a simple module to create shapefiles:

import shapefile

coord_list = ((20,40), (0,0), )

w = shapefile.Writer(shapefile.POINT)
w.field('ID_FIELD','C','40')
for id,(x,y) in enumerate(coord_list):
w.record(ID_FIELD=id)
w.point(x,y)
w.save("file\to\save")


it's very simple you might want to add the projection file afterwards (manually).

Check the manual on additional info

• Wow lot's of responses, I'll give all these great suggestions a shot tomorrow and update as to which ran optimally for this project. Thanks all! – geodranic Dec 17 '15 at 1:29

I'm still somewhat of a an arcpy beginner so perhaps this is not as sophisticated, but I created a script tool for this and it works for me. In your toolbox, add a new script tool. Make the python script below the source. Set the tools 1st parameter as feature layer input and the 2nd parameter as feature layer output (make sure you set it to an output parameter). Note, this tool will return points inside the input layer rather than the true centroid.

import arcpy
import os

inputFC = arcpy.GetParameterAsText(0)
outputPath = arcpy.GetParameterAsText(1)
scratchPath = arcpy.env.scratchGDB
inputFCSpatialReference = arcpy.Describe(inputFC).spatialReference

##copy to new fc in scratchGBD and make new layer
FCCopy = arcpy.CopyFeatures_management(inputFC,os.path.join(scratchPath,"FCCopy"))
FCLyr = arcpy.MakeFeatureLayer_management(FCCopy,"FCLyr")

##add and calculate X and Y fields
arcpy.CalculateField_management(FCLyr,"Xcoor","!SHAPE!.centroid.X","PYTHON")
arcpy.CalculateField_management(FCLyr,"Ycoor","!SHAPE!.centroid.Y","PYTHON")