How do I add info for empty polygons (lakes)

05-27-2020 12:03 PM
New Contributor

So I have the inverse of this problem: How do I remove holes (such as lakes) from a polygon feature 

I have a country polygon shp with holes for where the lakes should be. I also have a separate polygon shapefile for the lakes, which was done during a dry year so the edges (perimeter) do not match the 'holes' in the country ADM level file.

How do I add the lake information into the holes?  Is it possible to use those voids as the perimeter of the lake polygons? If so, how?

I have tried merging, union, autocomplete polygon and I get a mess with either gaps, or multiple sub polygons (with teeny polygons where the boundaries cross each other).

I have almost 200 lakes I need to incorporate into the larger file, and I am using ArcMap 10.5.1.

Any help/tricks/tips will be greatly appreciated. Thank you

#Geoprocessing #createfeature‌ #merge #union #newbie

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2 Replies
MVP Notable Contributor

Use the bounding geometry tool to create an envelope for you country, then union that with your country, this will create the lakes as well nothing areas around the edge. Those you could easily clear up.

The information you have in your existing lake dataset must match the field structure in your existing country layer or you end up creating new fields which are mostly blank for the polygons that were in the country dataset .

I would then explore the spatial join tool and look at the range of relation types you can join on.

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MVP Esteemed Contributor

I am a little unclear what your final objective is here.  Do you want an updated country dataset with the proper-sized holes removed, or are you wanting to capture the overlap and gaps from the old lake levels and new lake levels, and identify those overlaps and gaps differently?

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