I have a polyline feature of a pre-existing bus route (let's call it "Route A"). I want to extend the polyline of Route A, using a basemap as reference. I don't want to totally freehand it, my first preference is for an at least semi-programmatic method (the existing polyline features are sourced from GIS shapefiles). Maybe a picture would make more sense:

example of what I want to do

Now, if that's not possible in ArcGIS Desktop 10.5, as an alternative, consider Route A and the polyline of another certain route (let's call it "Route B"). How would I be able to snip Route A at a certain intersection, snip Route B at this same intersection, then merge the northern part of Route A with the southern part of Route B?

If you're confused, here's a picture:

how do I shot web? I mean, merge polylines?

I tried rasterizing the features, but that splits them into hundreds of constituent polylines, whereas I want each feature to stay as one contiguous polyline.

1 Answer 1


To do this I think you should look at Reshaping a line:

The Reshape Feature tool lets you reshape a line by constructing a sketch over a selected feature. The feature takes the shape of the sketch from the first place the sketch intersects the feature to the last.

When you reshape a line, the line takes the shape of the sketch you draw.

You would use the basemap to guide you as to where new vertices should be placed.

  • But if I were to use reshaping a line, how could ensure the sketch is converted into clean, straight lines as though they came from GIS shapefiles (centered, geo-referenced)? I currently only have access to a mouse so my freehand sketches are a mess. Furthermore, would I have to rasterize the features before being able to use "reshaping a line"? Mar 5, 2018 at 23:23
  • Try it, and I think you'll be surprised how easy it is. It looks like you just need to start editing, and provide less than 10 clicked locations from your mouse to do it. I see no need for rasterising. This is vector editing.
    – PolyGeo
    Mar 5, 2018 at 23:26
  • 1
    You could download open street map vector wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Downloading_data and then reshape using the trace tool, or, if the OSM data has too many vertices use it to snap the new vertices to the centrelines of the roads in OSM as guided freehand editing. Mar 6, 2018 at 0:15
  • 1
    If you download any OpenStreetMap data I would do that via the OpenStreetMap Editor for ArcGIS. It conveniently creates a file geodatabase.
    – PolyGeo
    Mar 6, 2018 at 1:21
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    It sounds like you are now asking a new question so I think you should accept my answer here because The "reshaping a line" option worked and ask a new more detailed question.
    – PolyGeo
    Mar 6, 2018 at 1:48

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