I'm trying to use polygons in arcpy. The polygons are stored in a shapefile. When running the following:

import arcpy 
gdb = 'path//to//gbd' 
inshape = os.path.join(folder,'Ameland_1968.shp') 
poly = os.path.join(gdb,'test')

arcpy.MakeFeatureLayer_management (inshape, poly)

I get this error:

ExecuteError: ERROR 000229: Cannot open inshape **(red: this path is typed out)
Failed to execute (MakeFeatureLayer).

What is the problem? Arcpy should be able to run this line with shapefiles right? I'm actually trying to run a part of a script that's using arcpy but the data is in shapefiles. How to convert these?

edit: this is my original code

poly_shape = 'D:\\ARNO\\Analysis\\ArcGIS\\ArcPyScripts\\Data\\straight_bars_2\\Ameland\\Ameland_1965.shp'
poly = 'D:\\ARNO\\Analysis\\ArcGIS\\ArcPyScripts\\Data\\test.gdb\\Ameland65'
arcpy.MakeFeatureLayer_management (poly_shape, poly)
  • What happens if you replace MakeFeatureLayer with if arcpy.Exists(inshape): print("OK") (with line break before print)? You haven't defined folder in your snippet above, which may or may not be the problem... a complete example is going to be important to help with debugging. – Erica Oct 16 '17 at 12:13
  • 1
    Show how you declare 'folder'. Also you cant place a feature layer in a geodatabase, it is created in memory. If you want to make it permanent use Copy Features afterwards. Syntax for Make Feature Layer: pro.arcgis.com/en/pro-app/tool-reference/data-management/… – BERA Oct 16 '17 at 12:14
  • It prints 'OK', the file exists. I thought I'd make it easier for the ones trying to replicate it. I'll paste exactly what I have. – ArnJac Oct 16 '17 at 12:16
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    You are confusing feature classes with feature layers. What is your next step after you have created a feature layer? – BERA Oct 16 '17 at 12:28
  • 1
    See: gis.stackexchange.com/questions/26336/… – BERA Oct 18 '17 at 6:25

With arcpy.MakeFeatureLayer_management() you just need to specify a name for your feature layer, not a path. The feature layer still points back to your original shapefile as the source, it does not copy it to a new geodatabase feature class.

So instead of giving a path in the second parameter, just give it a string value like "mypoly"

poly_shape = 'D:\\ARNO\\Analysis\\ArcGIS\\ArcPyScripts\\Data\\straight_bars_2\\Ameland\\Ameland_1965.shp'
arcpy.MakeFeatureLayer_management (poly_shape, "mypoly")

You can then reference "mypoly" elsewhere as an input for other tools such as the Simplify you mention above.


You do not have to make a feature layer from a gdb feature class. You may point the Make Feature Layer method directly to the shapefile:

inshape = os.path.join('C:/myFolder/','Ameland_1968.shp') 
arcpy.MakeFeatureLayer_management(inshape, 'myFeatureLayerName')

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