Sequential Numbering of Points

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08-04-2016 06:41 PM
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New Contributor II

I'm using ArcGIS 10.3.  I have a point feature class.  With the point feature class I'm trying to use the Point to Line tool in Toolbox to create a line out of the points.  My problem is that the points were not drawn sequentially to represent a line the points were placed randomly within an existing line with no order or following and existing line say North to South. Sothe problem is in order for the Point to Line Tool to follow the points and create a line I need add a column that has a draw order but I have over a 1,000 points.  Is there any way to automate this?

Thanks for the help

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MVP Esteemed Contributor

If you have an advanced license you are fine I think Sort—Help | ArcGIS for Desktop

How Sort (management) works—Help | ArcGIS for Desktop

or if sorting doesn't work but point spacing is fairly close they yu might be able to use a minimum spanning tree ( http://www.arcgis.com/home/item.html?id=6ce9db93533345e49350d30a07fc913a  but you will have to identify a start point. 

A picture in questions like are worth it, so if you have one, include it

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MVP Frequent Contributor

If your points are North to South, you can do this in a three-step process (or East to West.  However, this won't work for points that "wander").

First, add coordinate values to your point attributes (several methods - here are some, choose one):

Second, open the attribute table.  If you don't have a field for the draw order set up yet, create a numeric field.  Then "Sort Ascending" (or "Descending" depending upon where in the world your data is) on the Y Coordinate value column created in the above step, which will arrange your points in North to South order.  (Note - if your data crosses the equator you will need to split the data into two chunks, then recombine after processing).

Third, with the attribute table still open and sorted, increment your draw order field using Field Calculator and either VB or Python scripts (your choice - see below):

VB - http://www2.fiu.edu/~tardanic/idfield.pdf

Python ArcGIS Help 10.1 - scroll way down to the section Accumulative and sequential calculations, then use the code in "Calculate a sequential ID or number based on an interval."

Chris Donohue, GISP