Use best fit when converting line segments

Idea created by bnelson1985 on Dec 18, 2015
    • bnelson1985
    • rchasan
    Currently, when you convert a segment to a bezier curve or circular arc, ArcMap sets the control points to create a big, conspicuous curve.  This interrupts the workflow because it requires the user to adjust the control points to a more meaningful shape, and leaves the user vulnerable to accidently creating self-intersecting geometry that takes extra time to repair or undo.  It would be better to change this behavior (or at least provide an option) so that it affects the segment type but not the shape, instead setting the control points to match or best approximate the original segment.  

    As an example, I have been converting some complex features, that consist of mixed straight sections and "curved" sections (approximated by many straight segments), into features with true curves.  Short of manually editing each section that needs adjustment, I have two main procedures to use:
    • For features with mostly curves, I "Generalize" to remove nearly colinear points, then "Smooth" to produce the bezier segments, and finally revert the rest back to straight segments.  Some of the curved segments now still have extra bulges (mostly at corners) that need to be adjusted.
    • For features that are mostly straight segments, I again "Generalize", then manually convert the sections that need to be curved into beziers.  Each segment must be changed to bezier, severely distorting the shape, then manually adjusted to match the original shape and produce a continuous curve.
    A possible exception/extension to always "best fitting" the shape could be when converting a segment to bezier that lies between two other beziers; in this case it may be desirable to also try to produce a continuous curve at the endpoints.

    (I think this idea is similar to, but I'd specifically like to see the behavior of the editor change rather than have a new tool.)