I'm writing a program using ArcGIS Engine, and need to zoom & pan into the map to show the selected content.

Loading and displaying the map does work using something like this:

AxMapControl _mapControl;

// in constructor:
_mapControl = new AxMapControl();

// in loading

Afterwards I select some objects and want to zoom into them, but I can't find a way to get the selected extent - any pointers to achieve this?

2 Answers 2


suppose you have just one Layer, with the selected features & you want to zoom to the extent of all the selected features, here is how I would do it:

IMapControl2 MapControl= (ImapControl2)_mapControl;
IfeatureLayer FeatureLayer=MapControl.Layer[0];

IFeatureSelection FeatureSelection= (IFeatureSelection)FeatureLayer;

ISelectionSet SelectionSet=FeatureSelection.selectionSet;

ICursor cursor;
SelectionSet.Search(Null, true, out cursor);

IFeatureCursor featureCursor = (IFeatureCursor)cursor; 

IFeature feature;
IEnvelope envelope = new ESRI.ArcGIS.Geometry.EnvelopeClass();

while ((feature = featureCursor.NextFeature()) != null)
        IGeometry geometry = feature.Shape;
        IEnvelope featureExtent = geometry.Envelope;

  • Yes, great, this is the GetGeometries-part I was missing in fencliffs example! Thanks!!
    – Sam
    Feb 28, 2011 at 15:04

You could try this:

List<IGeometry> geometries = GetGeometries() // However you retrieve your geometries
double margin = 1.2; 
IEnvelope envelope = null;
foreach (IGeometry g in geometries)
    if (envelope == null)
        envelope = g.Envelope;
envelope.Expand(margin , margin , true);
_mapControl.ActiveView.Extent = envelope;

You can retrieve the geometry of a feature from IFeature.Shape.

  • I'm not yet sure how to get from AxMapControl to GetGeometries (which usually is my main problem with ArcGis: not knowing how to get from where to there).
    – Sam
    Feb 28, 2011 at 14:38
  • But at least your example looks like my old avenue code - except for the black magic part, where in avenue I used GetThemes > GetFTab > GetSelection to get the selected items.
    – Sam
    Feb 28, 2011 at 14:42
  • @Sam GetGeometries() is just an placeholder for place your retrieval code here, not from my codebase :) I'll try to get back to you later when I have time, unless someone else has answered by then.
    – fencliff
    Feb 28, 2011 at 14:49
  • Aah, ok, so I need to get my selected features into a list of IGeometries - I'll try my very best, thanks for your pointers!!
    – Sam
    Feb 28, 2011 at 14:52

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