I have a file geodatabase Feature Class representing the roads of a city. The Roads are not split at Intersections. ArcGIS needs roads to be split at the intersections, otherwise it assumes that the roads are not connected.

This Image shows the Connectivity model for ArcGIS Network Analyst, when the roads are not split. Connectivity

How do I correct this problem and split the roads wherever they intersect?

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    I know this could cause a problems at Overpass/underpass areas. I have points where there are overpass/Underpass, and those will be manually corrected, since they are limited and manageable in number in this city. – Devdatta Tengshe Feb 7 '13 at 7:56

The Feature To Line (Data Management) geoprocessing tool can be used for 'cleaning up' the data.

The help file mentions:

Where input lines or polygon boundaries touch, cross, or overlap each other at locations other than their start and end vertices, they will be split at those intersections; each of the split lines will become an output line feature. If an input line or polygon boundary is not intersected by another feature, its entire shape will still be written out as a line feature.

In Addition, remember to set the Preserve attributes option to true, in order to preserve the attributes in the output file.

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  • This is the most efficient option, and you can go a step further when you set an appropriate cluster_tolerance to 'correct' minor undershoots and overshoots in data, too (but be wary that the tolerance value doesn't simplify the data beyond useful spatial accuracy). – ccn Feb 7 '13 at 16:49
  • Its worth adding that if you want to do the cluster combining as a separate step you can use the Integrate tool. – fmark Feb 19 '13 at 5:04
  • Also if you're not lucky if to have an advanced license you can use the split lines with lines tool in QGIS through the processing menu (> version 2.8) and bring the results back into Arc. – Oliver Burdekin Jul 12 '16 at 13:20
  • You should probably note that this needs an Advanced level license, still the case at ArcGIS 10.4.1. – PolyGeo Oct 19 '16 at 4:41

You can use the Planarize Lines tool in ArcGIS (ArcEditor or ArcInfo license is required).

Keep in mind though that you would lose the overpass/underpass information in this case since all the intersecting lines will be splitted. More general reading on splitting lines is available here.

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  • While this is indeed useful, it would require manual editing in an Editing Session. – Devdatta Tengshe Feb 7 '13 at 11:11
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    OK, sure. Then use the Feature to Line GP tool which has the functionality fairly similar to Planarize Lines. The only difference in the case with cooincident lines in a single feature class is that some duplicated lines will be created in the output feature class (at least this is what I've got). I've used then the find and delete identical GP tools to handle this scenario (resources.arcgis.com/en/help/main/10.1/index.html#//…). – Alex Tereshenkov Feb 7 '13 at 11:15

ET GeoWizards has a split Polyline with Layer tool that might work for you. It requires the polyline layer you want to split (creates a new shapefile or feature class) and a layer that it uses to split the lines. I used it to split pipes (polyline) into zones (polygon) and it worked nicely but it works with two polylines as well.

If all your roads are part of one shapefile/feature class you should be able to add it twice to your mxd and rename one. ie roads1 and roads2 and then use roads1 to be split and roads2 to define were the first is to be split. I haven't tried this so hopefully it works in practice as well as theory.

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This would work in PostGIS, but i have read that ArcGIS has SQL interface too. This one selects. Use 'select into' if you want to save data and add sequence for primary key

select * from (select r.id , st_Dump(ST_Split(r.the_geom, r2.the_geom))
from table road as r , road as r2 
where r.id != r.id AND ST_Intersect(r.the_geom, r2.the_geom)) as stuff

that should return data like

|1 |xxxx|
|1 |yyyy|
|2 |zzzz|

if i didnt do any mistakes

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Using Planarize to split lines at intersections

  1. In ArcMap, click the Edit tool Edit tool on the Editor toolbar.
  2. Select the line features you want to split at intersections.
  3. Click the Planarize Lines button Planarize button on the Topology toolbar.
  4. Click OK.

The lines are split into new features where they intersect.

Attention: In Arc 10 and upper this tool is on the Advanced Editing toolbar.

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  • Duplicate answer to the one given already by @Alex Tereshenkov one year earlier. But here it is not mentioned that you will need a higher ArcGIS licence, which is important to know if you want to use this tool. – Generic Wevers Oct 19 '15 at 13:11

From ESRI desktop help. The link is at the bottom and there is more than one possible approach.

"Polygons from the geometry of other features

1.In ArcMap, click the Edit tool on the Editor toolbar.

2.Select the features whose geometry you want to use to construct new polygon features.

3.On the Editor toolbar, click the Task drop-down arrow and click Create New Feature.

4.On the Editor toolbar, click the Target drop-down arrow and click the polygon feature class in which you want to create a new feature. The selected features and the target layer cannot be from the same feature class.

5.On the Topology toolbar, click the Construct Features button .

Optionally, type a cluster tolerance.

6.Choose whether to create new polygons from the selected features, to create new polygons considering the boundaries of existing polygons as input geometry, or to split features where selected lines or polygons cross them.

7.Click OK.

The new features are created in the target feature class."


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  • I'm not sure what your answer has to do with my question. Did you by chance post it here instead of some other question? – Devdatta Tengshe Feb 8 '13 at 3:09
  • If you go to the link at the bottom and read the full help I believe you would see the relevance. By polygonizing data you are creating intersections at the non intersecting streets and there are similar operations in the help that would also assist with the problem – lewis Feb 8 '13 at 12:15

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