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I have lines on a map showing the most direct way from point data to the coastline (polygon).

I would like to group the lines if they are close to each other by a distance that I can set.

Where the clusters are, I'd like them all to group together when they get close enough to each other to become one line.

What would be the best way to do this?

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    You should have enough reputation now. I was in your same shoes less than a month ago believe it or not. – Rayner Oct 4 '12 at 18:56
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You could try Dissolve (Data Management) tool.

http://help.arcgis.com/en/arcgisdesktop/10.0/help/index.html#//00170000005n000000

Integrate (Data Management) also shows promise, although I can't find anything about it under ArcGIS 10. Only under 9.3.1.

http://webhelp.esri.com/arcgisdesktop/9.3/index.cfm?TopicName=integrate_(data_management)

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Another tool which might be useful to you is the Linear Directional Mean tool which "Identifies the mean direction, length, and geographic center for a set of lines."

It will not identify the clusters of lines, however. You may have to select these out manually first.

In your example, I see three major clusters of lines - top, middle, and bottom (with an outlier above the top cluster. If the start points are near the coast and the end points are near the middle of the raster, I don't know how you could programmatically select the lines in the cluster by distance.

The reason for this is because there are lines in the top and middle cluster which have endpoints which are closer than the two furthest lines in the middle cluster.

To identify clusters, you may need to look at the start points and endpoints of the lines. If the start points are close together, this may identify the cluster. You may want to look at the Spatial Statistics toolbox to help you identify these areas.

Both the Linear Directional Mean and Spatial Statistics toolbox are available for all license levels of ArcGIS.

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