How do I measure the shortest distance between two points (1 and 2) with respect to a polygon? So the shortest way around the polygon from 1 to 2.

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  • 1
    Isn´t the shortest path simply along the convex hull of the polygon? Jan 15, 2016 at 13:56
  • No, then it would follow the contours of the polygon.
    – Shark167
    Jan 15, 2016 at 14:10
  • 1
    Convex hull would skip the concave parts.
    – Vince
    Jan 15, 2016 at 14:11
  • So that would be the shortest distance? How does it work?
    – Shark167
    Jan 15, 2016 at 14:13
  • Convex hulls will have issues in some instances, such as the one above, where the end point is inside a concave location. Least cost path would be the easiest way to go with this I believe, but that requires the spatial analyst extension. Jan 15, 2016 at 22:10

1 Answer 1


Using the convex-hull of a polygon this is quite easy. First you have to include your two points in the set of points building the polygon. Now build the convex-hull for that point-cloud which is always the shortest path around the polygon.

There is a GP-tool at Data Management called Minimum Bounding Geometry which you may use for this.

  • Thank you for your answer. I am pretty new in ArcGis, do you know of any guides who explain how to do this?
    – Shark167
    Jan 15, 2016 at 14:31
  • The answer has a link to the tool documentation. Teaching ArcGIS use should not be part of the answer.
    – Vince
    Jan 15, 2016 at 15:56

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