I would like to create trail segments to use as the unit for analysis for a pre/post comparison. I have a point shapefile where each point represents an interval along a walking trail. At each interval, survey data is collected and stored as a row with long. and lat. cords. I would like to use these points as start/end or vertex to create segments.

Something like this:

enter image description here

I know that segments need to have a start point, an endpoint, and a sequence of locations in between, which I technically have, however, the start and end point locations are not included with individual point records.

Data looks like this:

enter image description here

What is the easiest way to convert the data that is available?

I’ve searched for tools within ArcMap but nothing seems appropriate for this task.

  • 1
    Have a look at the Points To Line tool in ArcToolbox-Data Management-Points to line. Does that do what you want?
    – GBG
    Jul 12, 2022 at 18:03
  • I have but that does not work. I end up with one consecutive line for each trail instead of segments Jul 12, 2022 at 21:37
  • 1
    Use the split line at vertices tool to create new feature classes between your points.
    – GBG
    Jul 12, 2022 at 21:48

1 Answer 1


(Just combining the comments from others into an answer...)

Use the Point to Line tool to create a line that joins all the points. NB: You will need to use the 'Sort Field' parameter (or one of the other methods) to ensure that the line follows the points in the intended order! Eg, it looks like you have a date field the MIGHT be suitable for this? Or if you know that the points were created in the order you want to use, the the FID field may be suitable.

Then use the Split Line At Vertices tool to split the new line into segments for each pair of vertices.

If you need the line to include data from the points, then a spatial join may be helpful, but that would be another SE question entirely.

NB: The 'Split Line at Vertices' tool requires an advanced license. If you don't have one (as I don't) you can replicate the functionality using a Python script (and even create your own script tool). You can search for other people's scripts that do exactly this by searching for, 'Split Line At Vertices without advanced license'


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