I'm trying to generate polygons for satellite orbital swaths. So far I have a method to generate two lines which represent the edge of each swath in [lat,long]. Some of the swath's cross the international dateline and so wrap round:

swath wrap around

I was able to solve this with ogr2ogr -wrapdateline:

ogr2ogr -wrapdateline  -f "ESRI Shapefile" test.shp orbits.shp

Which does split the lines probably

I now want to be able to generate polygons on the interior of both lines. So for example in the case where one edge of the swath crosses the dateline a polygon fills in when it emerges on the other side, like:


I need a method that is automated as I need to repeat the task a lot. Preferably in python as that's how i have generated the lines. Here are the two shapefiles containing the lines: wraparound ; datelinefixed


You can build a custom mercator projection centered approximately on the center of the swath. For example, use for swath 25:

+proj=merc +lon_0=-140 +k=1 +x_0=0 +y_0=0 +ellps=WGS84 +towgs84=0,0,0,0,0,0,0 +units=m +no_defs

In this projection, the swath is not broken by the dateline. You can create the polygon from the line.

enter image description here

Then create a cut polygon between -179.95°E and 179.95°E in EPSG:4326:

1;POLYGON ((-179.95 89, 179.95 89, 179.95 -89, -179.95 -89, -179.95 89))

Reproject it to your custom CRS too, and subtract it from the swath polygon.

After reprojecting back to EPSG:4326, the swath is correctly divided by the dateline:

enter image description here

Continue with all swaths that cross the dateline.


I would rewrite the swathe line generation process to start and finish in the same continuous longintudinal space. ie if a line started at 170° and finished at -170° I would rewrite the process to finish at 190° instead without wrapping at -180,180

Then you can make unbroken polygons between your lines.

Then use a clip process to split the polygons at the 180,-180 line and shift any parts which lie outside the -180,180 space by adding or subtracting 360° as appropriate.

Just get it all done before you save it with a particular projection/datum

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