I have a dataset containing with metes and bounds listing an area. I want to build a layer from these calls and produce the lines (polygons) that show the area.

I know there may be a bit of inaccuracy due to ground based measurements, etc., but I have to start somewhere so I am looking for a process to create the layer and begin to build lines based on bearing and range, mostly.

I tried in ArcMap 10.6 to create a line layer in a Geodatabase, but I am guessing I need to create certain fields to make this work and I do not know what fields to start with.

Overall, what I am ASKING for is a simple tutorial that will start with nothing but an empty map, and allow a layer to be created and populated with lines, (or polygons,) based on inputs like this:

S 09-32 W 387.9 feet S 61-40 E 275.1

One call appears to describe a curve:

"S 20-14 E 9002.0 feet, with a curve to the left having a Radius of 832.6 feet, an ARC length of 888.3 feet, a Chord length of 846.8 feet, and a Chord bearing of S 17-35 E to the Point of Beginning"

Be aware that there are many tutorials about this sort of thing, but I have not found one that will take me from nothing to the end, without making assumptions that other parcels or polygons are already created in a layer, or that a Geodatabase already properly exists.

  • I think that this is too broad for focussed Q&A because it is asking for a tutorial to be provided/written. – PolyGeo Oct 24 '18 at 22:22

This is a rather broad question, so I'm not going into too much detail here. These instruction assume ArcMap, not ArcGIS Pro.

Create a polygon feature class

  1. In ArcMap, open the Catalog window (Windows → Catalog)
  2. In the Catalog Window, browse to the location where you want to store the data; click right: New → File Geodatabase. You may have to connect a folder first: Click on the Connect To Folder button on the Catalog Window's toolbar to do that.
  3. Right click on the geodatabase you just created: New → Feature Class
  4. Enter a name, and the type (Polygon Features)
  5. Next: Select the spatial reference you want to use
  6. Next; Next; Enter any additional fields; Finish

The feature class will be added to the map automatically. Optionally, you could add reference data such as imagery or a topographical map: File → Add Data → Add basemap

Edit the featureclass

  1. Right click on the layer in the table of contents: Edit Features → Organize Feature Templates; New Template; Select All; Finish
  2. Right click on the layer in the table of contents: Edit Features → Start Editing
  3. Open the Editor toolbar, if it's not open yet: Customize → Toolbars → Editor
  4. From the Editor Toolbar, open the Create Features Window: Editor → Editing Windows → Create Features
  5. In the Create Features window, select the polygon class (top) and the Polygon Construction Tool (bottom)
  6. Draw a line by clicking on each corner, and double click to finish
  7. Repeat. Finally, save your edits: Editor → Stop Editing

Here's the complete reference.

Advanced line drawing

  • To start a line on a known coordinate, right click on the map and select Absolute X, Y (Or press F6)
  • To create a line with a specific length or direction, start a line, then click right and select Direction/Length (Ctrl+G), Direction (Ctrl+A) or Length (Ctrl+L)
  • To create a curve with specific parameters, use the End Point Arc Segment tool on the editor toolbar, rather than Straight Segment. While drawing, press R to specify a radius

You might also want to try the other options in the context menu, and tools on the Advanced Editing toolbar.

COGO might also be of interest for you, but since I have never used it myself, I can't offer any help there.

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