I need to figure out how to create "x"-lines inside buildings polygon. There is a lot of polygons so I need to make this automatic.

How do I do this using ArcGIS Desktop?


Buildings polygon with painted "x" lines.

  • Are you using ArcGIS Pro or ArcMap? If you also want to ask about FME, then please do that in a separate question.
    – PolyGeo
    Oct 14, 2021 at 10:45
  • 1
    Do you want these lines to be saved in the file as polylines, or can this be done as a layer style? Oct 14, 2021 at 10:51

2 Answers 2


My suggested process is to run a Minimum Bounding Geometry, rectangle by width across the buildings to get a polygon with four corners. Connect the four corners in a cross (using a script). Finally clip the cross with the building footprint to ensure the crossed lines are only within the building footprint.

The script should look something like this:

import os
import arcpy

"""Draw diagonal lines across rectangle."""
in_features = 'PathToYourPolygons'
out_feature_class = 'PathToCrossPolylines'

desc = arcpy.Describe(in_features)
path, name = os.path.split(out_feature_class)

# Create output feature class
    path, name, geometry_type="POLYLINE",
# Add a field to transfer FID from input
arcpy.management.AddField(out_feature_class, "ORIG_FID", "LONG")
search_fields = ["SHAPE@", "OID@"]
insert_fields = ["SHAPE@", "ORIG_FID"]

with arcpy.da.SearchCursor(in_features, search_fields) as search_cur:
    with arcpy.da.InsertCursor(out_feature_class, insert_fields) as insert_cur:
        for row in search_cur:
            geometry = row[0].getPart(0)
            for i in range(2):
                point1 = geometry[i]
                point2 = geometry[i+2]
                polyline = arcpy.Polyline(arcpy.Array([point1, point2]))
                insert_cur.insertRow([polyline, row[1]])
  • I think this question has nothing to do with the actual creation of lines as vector data. It's more a matter of configuring the style of data display. Oct 14, 2021 at 10:54

Variation of Mark answer, but without scripting. So, convert minimum bounding rectangles to vertices and select them by attribute:

mod( "OBJECTID",5)=1 OR mod( "OBJECTID",5)=3

It will select 2 opposite corners of individual rectangles, because each is made of 5 points. Use points to line tool with ORIG_FID being line identifier, to create first diagonal. You'll need few more steps, because original polygons can have irregular shape:

  • clip diagonals
  • sort them in descending order by length
  • delete identical for ORIG_FID.

enter image description here

Proceed with second diagonal and merge results if necessary.

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