ArcGIS Pro 2.3: I have a feature class of polylines and for each polyline I want to analyze against its corresponding polygon. The link is the FLIGHTID field and it is a 1-to-1 relationship. I am attempting to use the Summarize Within tool to determine the length of polyline within its corresponding polygon but cant seem to figure out how to setup the inputs. Here is what my data looks like:

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I am confused as to what to use for inputs to get the 1-to-1 analysis of segment length within a polygon

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2 Answers 2


I'm not sure about the summarize within tool. But couldn't you just intersect the polygons and lines and then calculate the length of each segment. Each segment should be the line within the polygon.

  • Intersection doesn't have a link field. It would just intersect ALL lines with ALL polygons.
    – sinDizzy
    Feb 11, 2019 at 1:58
  • Yes, it would try and intersect all lines and polygons. It would return a feature class with all LINES that intersect the Polygons (i.e. are within and on the border of ALL POLYGONS). For each POLYGON the line will be delineated with a single segment. Each line segment will have the attributes from the LINE and intersecting POLYGON. With this new feature class, you can calculate lengths and perform whatever analysis you need. If this isn't what you are asking for then you might need to make your question a bit clearer
    – Liam G
    Feb 11, 2019 at 12:51
  • Thanks for your suggestion. What you state would work for small batches. But say I have 10,000 polylines and polygons. If they all intersect that is a result with 10,000,000 features. As my op states, I only want a 1-to-1 intersection based on a key field. Length of polyline within its corresponding polygon What do you recommend to clarify?
    – sinDizzy
    Feb 11, 2019 at 16:30
  • Not sure exactly what you mean by 1-1 intersection. Do mean, if there is multiple line segments with the same flightid within a single polygon, you want them aggregated to one line? You could just use a dissolve for that?
    – Liam G
    Feb 11, 2019 at 20:30
  • A single polyline has a single corresponding polygon linked by FLIGHTID. For each pair I want to perform the intersection. It is a 1-to-1 relationship. If you think I can make it clearer please suggest how and i will update the question.
    – sinDizzy
    Feb 11, 2019 at 20:43

For posterity and anyone who comes across this as I did...

The polyline feature class should have an automagic Shape_Length field that contains the information you seek. There seems to have been some confusion about how this is computed but a geodesic length is available if planar is unsuitable. (Given what you're computing, planar probably is unsuitable and you ought to consider computing geodesic length.)

For computing a summary, you can use Summary Statistics, but this will sum the length of all of the lines. If these are flight paths, it would be the equivalent of all the miles flown.

Summary Within will not work for your polylines, as it requires a polygon input. You seem to have created a buffer, I'm not sure if this is so that you have polygons to satisfy the needs of a GP tool or for some other reason. For this computation, you are best sticking with the polylines. Creating buffers will do nothing for your flight path lengths other than create both error and confusion.

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