I have a polygon with a sum_count field. Using the Dot Density symbology in ArcMap, I was able to display this value as a series of points (seen in the image below).

Is it possible to export these points as their own feature?

The objective is to do some advanced cartography with these points.

Dot Density Screenshot

  • Can you provide a screenshot of your attribute table?
    – whyzar
    Aug 25 '17 at 19:58

It is not possible to convert these symbols to points but there is a Create Random Points tool available in ArcGIS Desktop which:

Creates a specified number of random point features. Random points can be generated in an extent window, inside polygon features, on point features, or along line features.

It has some licensing restrictions in that you need Advanced, Spatial Analyst or 3D Analyst licensing. Basic or Standard with one of those extensions is fine.


You could do it in Qgis:

  1. Open your .shp file in Qgis
  2. Go to Toolbox and search for Random points inside polygons.

Where to find Random points inside polygons tool

(excuse my Qgis version in Spanish)

There are two options: fixed (where the number of dots is the same for each polygon) or variable (where the number of dots is taken from an attribute, therefore can be different for each polygon).

Here is the explanation for variable, the option that I think that suits you better:

"This algorithm creates a new point layer with random points inside the polygons of a given layer. The number of points in each polygon can be defined as a fixed count or as a density value. The count/density value is taken from an attribute, so it can be different for each polygon in the input layer."

The outcome is a new point layer that can be saved as a .shp file that you could then open in ArcMap if you whish.


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