overlapping polygons to lines

12-20-2011 07:27 AM
New Contributor
I want to convert a polygon layer into lines and then into a route feature so that I can label them properly. many of the polygons are overlapping or intersecting and this causes no end of problems with the attribute data. the problem, as far as I can see is this portion of the tool functionality :

"Where input lines or polygon boundaries touch, cross, or overlap each other at locations other than their start and end vertices, they will be split at those intersections; each of the split lines will become an output line feature. If an input line or polygon boundary is not intersected by another feature, its entire shape will still be written out as a line feature."

When this happens, the wrong attribute data is retained in the line feature so consequently the routes do not represent the geometry of the input polygons correctly. I have attached the shapefile I am working with. The root of the problem is that I can't get the label engine (or maplex) to label the polygons because of all the overlap. the "convert to routes" work around was one I found on the ESRI blog.

Any help would be appreciated!!!

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Regular Contributor II
Try cycling through the polygon features, making a layer of each polygon in turn by using a selection query (say, one feature ID or other unique identifier at a time). Do the polygon to line conversion on that layer, and then, after adding appropriate attributes to identify or label the lines, append the output to a collective feature class with all the line outputs. You can then blow away that single polygon layer and make a new layer from the next polygon to do the process over again for that one. (Rinse, repeat)

That process isolates each polygon during the conversion, so you avoid extra intersections; and isolates the output line so you can explicitly set the attribute / label; and finally collects all the lines in a single feaure class so it is easy to handle.

With lines features that (as Arc/Info used to call it) maintain seperate planer graphs (meaning they cross without intersecting (think highway bridges, or power lines crossing a road), you don't need the overhead of routes.
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