Windows 10, ArcGIS 10.4.1/ArcScene

I have a geotiff that I pulled in from a pdf. I'm in an edit session of ArcScan and when I Show Preview, the output looks great. However, whenever I try to Generate Features, I receive the following error:

The map does not contain an editable polyline layer. Please add one and try the command again.

Any suggestions to proceed with ArcScan?

  • 1
    Does your map "contain an editable polyline layer"? – PolyGeo Sep 3 '17 at 20:04
  • I'm trying to create a polygon layer from a raster, that's what ArcScan vectorization does. So no, unless I'm misunderstanding something, why would I have an "editable polyline layer" if that is what I am trying to create? This thread regards the same question (geonet.esri.com/thread/22940), though doesn't seem to have ever been answered. Thanks. – Chris_80 Sep 3 '17 at 21:19
  • The answer at that GeoNet thread was The reason is quite simple: with the vectorization generates lines, it will also need another shapefile of the 2line" type, not "polygon" type. At the same time, if you use only a "line"-type shapefile and the vectorization generates polygons, it will ask for a polygon shapefile type also. i.e. exactly what I am saying in my answer and alluding to in my comment. – PolyGeo Sep 3 '17 at 21:41

I think you should review the help About automatic vectorization (with my bolding):

ArcScan supports centerline and outline vectorization methods in automatic mode. The centerline vectorization method allows you to generate vector line features at the center of the raster cells. This method is the most common type of vectorization. The centerline vectorization method is the default setting. The outline vectorization method allows you to generate vector polygon features at the borders of the raster cells.

You do not specify whether you are using the centerline or outline vectorization method so I suspect that it is the default of centreline.

To generate polygons you either need to use the outline vectorization method or post-process the line features from the centerline method to create polygons from them.

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  • I'm using the centerline method. I am specifically trying to avoid "outline vectorization" (that happened when I outsourced my difficulties to a friend who used Adobe Illustrator). I am stuck at "Generate Features" or Step 7 from here (gisgeography.com/how-to-vectorize-image-arcscan). In other words, I'm not able to "post-process" anything because I can't seem to figure out how to make it run in the first instance. When I hit "Generate Features," it throws me the error that I quoted in the original post. I created a blank feature class, not shapefile, I will try blank shapefile now... – Chris_80 Sep 3 '17 at 22:38
  • @Chris_80 Your question would be improved with a precise description of the steps that you performed beginning with Start ArcMap. – PolyGeo Sep 3 '17 at 22:44
  • Sounds good. 1. New project, load band 1 of 3-band tiff, classify into 2 values; 2. Create new polyline shapefile and set coordinate system; 3. start editing and 4. VOILA! Thanks, it seems that I really did need to create polyline shapefile, not a polygon feature class, which is what I initially tried (and, in fact, what the error told me to do all along...how embarrassing). – Chris_80 Sep 4 '17 at 0:41

Its really simple. I just needed to add a polyline shapefile, as the error told me to do and PolyGeo originally said - not a polygon feature class or anything else.

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