Say I have a cornfield that I wish to measure acreage on.

If I utilize the draw toolbar, create a polygon around the field, export to shapefile, add area field in attribute table, and calculate geometry for area in acres, will this be accurate?

I have been using the editor toolbar to edit and cut polygons to shapes that fit my needs and then calculating geometry for acreage on those, but I am looking for an easier way and wondering if this process of using the draw toolbar and creating polygons was synonymous with using the edit toolbar.


Depending on how accurate you want to be. Using the editor toolbar to edit a shapefile would be the best option.

Primarily because the editor Toolbar offers you more options in terms of editing. You can set your snapping, split and combine features more easily with a shapefile.

That being said, there is nothing wrong with creating graphics and then converting them. You are just limited in what you can do with graphics.

As long as you have chosen a correct coordinate system and work carefully you should get a decent result.

Personally my workflow would entail creating a shapefile first. Then editing the shapefile as you need.

  • Awesome, this was exactly the feedback I was looking for. I knew that there would be a slight difference in accuracy and usability, just wanted a little more clarification. Thank you. – JJAbrams May 10 '18 at 18:51

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