ArcMap 10.1 on a PC. Working with a large shapefile with ~50,000 poygons with a wide range of size from 1,000+m. to <1m. I would like to convert these polygons into points so I can do some analysis in Maxent.

Rather than have just one point for every polygon, I would like a large polygon to have more points than a small one. For example maybe a 100m polygon has 10 points in it, a 50m polygon has 5, and everything smaller has just 1. Ideally these points would just be randomly placed within the boundaries of the polygon it came from.

Any ideas?


1 Answer 1


You can achieve this by following these steps:

  1. Define you polygon size/number of random points created per class
  2. Perform x number of select by attribute (on polygon area field) and field calculate to a field for number of random points to generate (calculation based on selected features) (repeast this step until all your polygons have a random point(s) to generate value)
  3. Generate random points on entire polygon feature class using the Create Random Points tool

This tool can create random points within a polygon based on feature field value.

  • Thank you very much! This is exactly the answer I needed. Very helpful.
    – DSG
    Apr 8, 2013 at 2:21

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.