I am working on creating a project boundary for a specific area. To do this I merged several data sets including roads,rivers & railroads (polylines) and lakes, civil townships & congressional townships, (polygons converted to polylines) into a single polyline feature class. I then split the polylines at every intersect in the data. I then created a subset of the data using only the nearest features to the project area to create a boundary.

My problem is my data has some issues with overlap. In some areas the civil townships are coincident with bodies of water or roads and the polyline for both types of feature are overlapping (or close to overlapping) in my subset of the data. I would like to clean up the data so there is only 1 line for each section of the boundary and duplicate boundary lines are deleted. after I get a clean polyline feature I was planning and using the feature to polygon tool to create the the final boundary.

Is there a simple method of cleaning up this data?

I already have used topology rules to clean up a few thing such as dangles, but I couldn't really find a rule that applied to my situation.

  • What geomotry type are you trying to create as the output of your final "project boundary"? Are you trying to create a polyline or polygon feature class? Commented Nov 26, 2013 at 2:03
  • Maybe try solving the original problem differently? Maybe this would work. Convert polygons to lines. Then use Feature to Line tool. It should make non overlapping polygons. Then select all polygons that intersect your area and dissolve them.
    – 0kcats
    Commented Nov 26, 2013 at 12:55
  • Why would you want boundaries as polylines and not polygons?
    – ianbroad
    Commented Aug 2, 2014 at 20:22
  • Ian, I am using polylines to create the boundary because that way I can convert my civil divisions, lakes, etc. to match the feature types of my polyline features (ie. rivers, roads, rails). It was much easier to convert my polygon features to line features than it was be to work with multiple line and polygon features. Once I cleaned up the boundary lines a I converted the feature back to polygon to use as the boundary for the area I was working with.
    – cl3
    Commented Aug 4, 2014 at 16:57

2 Answers 2


These are a few tools I use to cleanup lines:

  • integrate - make vertices
  • match between near features
  • planarize - split overlapping lines at intersections
  • extend/snap - snap lines
  • trim line - delete
  • dangles meeting a certain length
  • dissolve - remove duplicate overlapping lines

If you are using ArcMap (and have the appropriate license to use the tool) then Eliminate may help. See: Removing small spaces (slivers) between polygons?.

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