I have a dataset composed of points and projected on a shapefile describing European countries.

My goal is to create a new shapefile, with zones specified 100 kilometers around the borders in-between all the States, since I want to see if there are more points close to the borders, or not.

I thought that Buffer would be a nice way to do it but did not manage to find out how to practically do this. I converted the polygon shapefile once to line, and then used the function Buffer, but there is nothing appearing. I did the same without converting before.

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  • 1
    Use near analysis to find distances of points to polylines representing borders.
    – FelixIP
    Jul 1, 2018 at 22:26
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    @FelixIP is correct, but you will need an advanced license for polygon to line. BTW a boarder is someone sharing your house, a border is the boundary. If you don't have an advanced license let me know and I'll guide you through a more involved process that doesn't need an advanced license. Jul 1, 2018 at 22:28
  • @Michael Stimson to get polylines out of polygons is easy in editing session. Select polygons, copy paste to edited polylines and even planarise them to get edges. Any license level.
    – FelixIP
    Jul 1, 2018 at 23:57
  • I know that trick too @FelixIP, but not everyone does. Spatial join can also be used instead of Near in this case and with a bit of effort but no need muddying the waters if the OP has an advanced license; as stated in your comment polygon to line (or feature to line) followed by Generate Near table is by far the simplest method. Jul 2, 2018 at 0:21

1 Answer 1


I think the way to do this is to convert your country borders to line features (like you have done), then to buffer them 100km to create polygons representing the areas within 100km of a country borders.

One of several ways to do the last step would be to use Select Layer By Location to select points within the buffer polygons, and then use Get Count to count them.

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