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I am trying to understand the exact method used in the "simplify" command under the "Convert Raster to Polygons" in ArcGIS.

The help page describes qualitatively what the command does, but does not describe the method in detail. I have looked at other help pages on "simplify" polygons and come across a number of methods that can be used when simplifying polygon shapes, but it is unclear which of these methods are used in the exact Raster to Polygon command.

One that I found helpful was http://desktop.arcgis.com/en/arcmap/10.3/manage-data/editing-existing-features/about-simplifying-and-smoothing-a-feature.htm, which suggested to me that perhaps the "simplify" command in Raster to Polygon uses the "Generalize" that uses the published algorithm (Douglas and Peucker, 1973).

Is this correct?

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    Unless its explicitly documented you can't know "the exact method". Even if it is documented you can't be sure of the exact method because you can't see the source code. How "exact" do you need to know? Or is this just out of interest? – Spacedman Apr 4 '17 at 17:45
  • Hi Spacedman, thanks. I do not need the source code, but I do need to cite some sort of method that would describe things like assumptions employed--for example, how the "Generalize" command in Raster to Polygon documentation provides a citation to the published algorithm of Douglas and Peucker, 1973. Specifically, I am trying to describe this method in a scientific paper. – user2711577 Apr 10 '17 at 16:41
  • Most people just seem to get away with saying "Using the 'simplify' function in ArcGIS", which is bad science, so respect for trying to do the right thing. You pay thousands for this software, I suggest you get some customer support for that price... – Spacedman Apr 10 '17 at 16:45
  • Thanks, I have submitted a help request. I will update this question when (if) I find the answer. – user2711577 Apr 10 '17 at 18:29

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