I have to make a geographical map.

the map

I have to fill in the gaps between the lines with polygons. Is there a possibility to just trace those lines automatically?

I have to do everything manually now, which takes a lot of time. Right now I am using the "Add object polygon" from the digitalizing toolbar.

  • 2
    Does gis.stackexchange.com/questions/263946/… answer your question?
    – Ian Turton
    May 27, 2020 at 14:27
  • 1
    Can you use the lines to polygons or polygonize tools to create polygons? You might have to put in a temporary line around your area of interest so they all build. Another option is to great a polygon for your area of interest and then use the split with lines tool to cut that into polygons?
    – John
    Jul 6, 2020 at 13:41

2 Answers 2


Additional information like what version are you using? From the looks of the screen shot I'm guessing it's not Arc Pro.

You absolutely can trace lines to create a polygon.

Create an empty polygon for editing. (Either in gdb or shapefile)

Open an edit session. Go to the Editor tool bar - Editor drop down and select More Editing Tools.

Select the Advanced editing. There is a Trace tool on that tool bar you can use to create the polygon shapefile.

NOTE: sometimes while tracing (if it seems to 'hang up') you need to move your mouse back / forth over the line. I think this happens when there are tons of vertices.


I would

  1. create a new layer and draw a big square around the entire map in it
  2. use the "Vector"/"Geoprocessing Tools"/"Difference..." tool between the new layer and the layer with gaps
  3. apply "Vector"/"Geometry Tools"/"Multipart to singleparts..." on the result of the difference.
  4. Now you have a layer with all gap-polygons digitized and you either append it to the original layer or you can copy the polygons from that layer to the destination layer.

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