Currently I am having trouble creating polygons from .txt files using Python. I am uncertain about the method(s) I should use to create the geometry of the polygons. The text file is a list of coordinates separated by commas.

Here is my script:

import arcpy
from arcpy import env
env.workspace = r'C:\Users\....\data'
env.overwriteOutput = 1

txt_file = env.workspace + r'\districts\district01.txt'

xs = []
ys = []

with open(txt_file) as f:
    lines = f.readlines()
big_str = lines[0]

pairs =  big_str.split('/r')[1:]

for pair in pairs:
    pair_list = pair.split(',')
    ys.append (pair_list[1])

point = arcpy.Point()
array = arcpy.Array()

for integer in range(0, len(xs)):
    print 'x', xs[integer], 'y', ys[integer]
    point.X = float(xs[integer])
    point.Y = float(ys[integer])
  • I believe you would need to pass it into the the arcpy.polygon class
    – ziggy
    Sep 21 '16 at 21:54
  • I have never created a Polygon from scratch but here is the documentation pro.arcgis.com/en/pro-app/arcpy/classes/polygon.htm
    – ziggy
    Sep 21 '16 at 21:55
  • 2
    What happens when you run the code snippet that you have presented? What do a few rows from your text file look like? Perhaps illustrate using a triangle and a square to minimize the number of coordinates that you need to post.
    – PolyGeo
    Sep 21 '16 at 21:59
  • The code creates a shapefile, but no geometry. The txt file I have is literally just a list of about 200 numbers (XY coords). Sep 22 '16 at 20:14
  • So is it an x field with one value being the longitude?and a y field with one value being the latitude? If so thats just a point and not a polygon...
    – ziggy
    Sep 22 '16 at 20:26

a few things

  1. I am not exactly sure what your txt file of polygon coordinates looks like so you may have to mess around with some of my code I am about to give you

  2. I find it useful when looping through csvs or txt files to use the old arcgisscripting search cursor so I know which fields I am trying to extract from(I am aware of the arcpy.da.searchcursor)

  3. you need to pass the arcpy.Point() and arcpy.Array() into the arcpy.Polygon() class to create your geometry

  4. Pair.x and Pair.y would be the fields holding your polygon coordinates so switch that around to whatever you have them called

    txt_file = "yourfile.txt"
    cur = gp.SearchCursor(txt_file)
    coords = [[[pair.x,pair.y]]for pair in cur]
    for x in coords:
        for z in x:
            m = arcpy.Polygon(arcpy.Array([arcpy.Point(*z)]))
            print m
    arcpy.CopyFeatures_management(m, "C://Users//polygons.shp")
  • 1
    Can you please give an example of how you'd expect the txt file to look for your script to run? That would make it easier when trying to "mess around" with the code on a different txt file
    – Midavalo
    Sep 21 '16 at 23:01
  • 2
    @ziggy You should look into the da module. It's a vast improvement over the old cursors.
    – jbalk
    Sep 21 '16 at 23:38
  • @Midavalo My plan right now is to splice up the numbers in the text file, since it is a long list of about 200 numbers (XY coords). Sep 22 '16 at 20:15
  • What does your text file look like? Post a snapshot of the columns u are using @j.pramuk
    – ziggy
    Sep 22 '16 at 20:24

This method demonstrates how to create a polygon from an array. You will need to build your coordinates into a list to loop through and create all your polygons.

You need 4 coordinates to create a polygon (LL,LR,UR,UL).

Use the 4 coordinates to create an array and make a polygon from the array. Note that you need to include the first coordinate again at the end of the array to 'close' the polygon:

            array = arcpy.Array()
            polygon = arcpy.Polygon(array)

Then to insert the polygon into a feature class, use an insert cursor:

            cursor = arcpy.da.InsertCursor(fc,["SHAPE@"])
            del cursor
  • 2
    What is going to happen with more than 4 points in a dataset?
    – FelixIP
    Sep 21 '16 at 23:46
  • @FelixIP From j.pramuk's question, it appears he will be able to handle creating lists and looping through them.
    – jbalk
    Sep 21 '16 at 23:48
  • @FelixIP Yeah there are way more than 4 point per polygon, so I will have to loop it to get it to work Sep 22 '16 at 20:12
  • NOTE: The arcpy.Polygon constructor should always include a SpatialReference parameter extracted from the target feature class. Failure to do this can corrupt the polygon coordinate values by truncating them to four decimal places before they are actually inserted into the target.
    – Vince
    Apr 2 '21 at 16:53

Esri has a KB on how to convert a table of xy coords into a single polygon. How To: Create a polygon from an XY data table

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