So I am making a map of fishing intensity. Currently, I have an excel table with the mid-latitude and mid-longitude for each of my intensity data points. I also have the c squared value for each point on my map. As the long/lat data is the centre of each point, I want to create square polygons around this point. I am using ArcGIS Desktop 10.6.1 with an Advanced licence.

I am able to input this data as a point shapefile no problem (via add xy data), but I want to be able to show this map as a relative intensity scale using graduated colours. I can kind of do this with points, but they slightly overlap each other and it doesn't look too great (see image).

What I currently have

How can I either put this type of data in as a polygon from excel or convert my point shapefile to a polygon shapefile?

I have tried aggregate points, but it doesn't work as I don't know the distance between my points in their long/lat form. I remember being able to do this a few months ago in class, to get the figure below, but I've stupidly lost the polygon shapefile for it!

What I want to achieve

  • 2
    Have you tried converting your points to a rasterfile?
    – Erik
    Commented Feb 15, 2019 at 11:35
  • 1
    ...using Point to Raster with for example cell_assignment = 'SUM'
    – Bera
    Commented Feb 15, 2019 at 11:36
  • Just tried that, don't think it worked. My raster output only gave one value in the scale range? (e.g. scale of zero to zero)
    – Kirsty
    Commented Feb 15, 2019 at 12:24
  • Are the points on a regularly spaced grid or irregular? Rasterization would definitely be the best idea if the former. Commented Feb 15, 2019 at 12:30
  • As an option, have you thought of a heat map? esri.com/arcgis-blog/products/arcgis-online/mapping/… Commented Feb 15, 2019 at 16:00

1 Answer 1


In order to convert your point shapefile to polygons, simply use a Buffer and then Feature Envelope to Polygon:

enter image description here

This assumes that you know the spacing between the points to use as buffer distance (either standard for all of them, or based on one of their attributes), unless you don't care about possible overlaps between the polygons.

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