Is there a way I can generate regularly distributed sample points within a polygon using ArcGIS 10? I originally used Hawth's Tools to do this in 9.3, however I don't think this is possible in 10.



I'm not 100% clear on the effect you're looking for but... there is a geoprocessing tool called "Create Fish Net" that lets you create a grid of lines, and points, then you could use your polygons to clip the points.

For "irregular" you can use the "Create Random Points" which creates N points inside a polygon and you can specify a minimum distance between points.


ArcGIS's Create Fishnet tool combined with the Intersect will do this for you. Try this workflow:

  1. Create Fishnet (Data Management): use your polygons as the template extent. Make sure to select "Create Label Points" as this is the vector layer that will become the regularly distributed sample points. Adjust the parameters so that you get the number of points within the bounding box of your input polygon/s.
  2. Intersect (Analysis) or Clip (Analysis) these points with the input polygons

enter image description here


I know this is an old thread, but it still ranks high on google when I was trying to find something to create sample points in 9.3 (Hawth's Tools not compatible with 9.3).

Eventually found that Jenness Enterprises provides a free tool that does this perfectly (plus creates repeating polys if you want them), with versions for 9.x and 10.x

Here http://www.jennessent.com/arcgis/repeat_shapes.htm


I just got done using the Fishnet geoprocessing function in 10.0 and there is a checkbox to create point labels. The tool places the points in the center of the grid that it creates with lines and polygons, but they are a grid, non the less. You can then discard the lines or polygons. with some simple math you can make sure the points start at a place that you desire. It worked well and will use it again. I got the original idea for using it here, so thought I would clarify more about how it works.

Thanks for the original direction!


I guess You can use Create fishnet tool to generate net of line features in polygon and then can convert lines to point by using feature to point tool.


It is possible to use Hawth's Tools in 10x (I can) but I have installed the free VBA extension for 10. You don't need VBA for the successor to Hawth's Tools, GME, which, as noted above, contains genregularpntsinpolys.

ETGeowizards for 10x has some free tools including one that creates a point grid useful for sampling. This is the tool I use.


Hawth Tools might also be useful for you. Inparticular the function to create point patterns.

  • 1
    He said Hawth's Tools was not available for ArcGIS 10. – user3461 Oct 12 '11 at 12:22

Hawth's Tools were replaced by Geospatial Modelling Environment. GME has a beta version available for download that works with ArcGIS 10. I've never used it, so I can't speak for it's effectiveness. It sounds like the genregularpntsinpolys tool will meet your needs, though.


You can use any spreadsheet software to generate a list of coordinates pairs, I mean one column X, one column Y, ..., save them as a CSV file, and import them from Arcmap.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy