I'm struggling with a simple buffer which turns out to be way more difficult than I thought.

I just want to buffer a polygon shapefile which has many neighbouring objects (on the left picture the states). But I do not want to buffer the inner boundaries (middle picture with the overlapping areas) but only the outer-boundaries (here the sea boundaries). But still I want the result to preserve the state boundaries, similar to the picture on the right. I tried the "buffer" tool and also the tool "graphic buffer" in every possible setting, but nothing worked.

Does anybody know how to create a buffer without those overlaying areas in ArcGIS Pro?



1 Answer 1


The simplest buffer would be a buffer ignoring state division along the coastal edge and this can be achieved with the buffer tool and setting the Dissolve Type parameter to Dissolve all output features into a single feature, here is an example where the value has been set to 1500m

All dissolved

If you wanted a segmented buffer here is one such approach:

  1. Create the buffer as described above, this is used to set an extent setting in the Euclidean Allocation tool.
  2. Set up Euclidean Allocation tool as below changing values where appropriate, make sure the cell size is small, I used 10m. Note the distance is also set to the buffer distance used in step 1. Make sure environment setting processing extent is set to the buffer created in step 1.

Euclidean Allocation tool

  1. Run a raster to polygon on output of step 2 and make sure simplify polygons is ticked on.
  2. Finally run the Erase tool on the output of step 3 using your original state boundaries as the eraser features, results are:



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