Split Line at Points

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08-30-2012 09:54 AM
MattBull
New Contributor II
I am using Split Line at Point as part of my workflow for a certain project and I'm trying to save myself some time. The problem I'm having using this tool is that it doesn't always split the line in the order I want it to. For eample, I'll have a polyline that I want split into five based on four points. It will split the line fine into the five segments, but when I open the attribute table and select them, they often out of order. I need to assign attributes to each segment after the fact, and it would be much easier if they were split in order (i.e from one end of the line to the other). Does anyone know if this is possible without doing an excessive amount of programming? To me this seems like the logical way for the tool to work, but it doesn't. It just adds an extra annoying step my workflow when I have to figure out what order the line segments are in, and currently keeping me from automating this entire process.

Thanks in advance
-matt
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2 Replies
ChristopherThompson
Regular Contributor
I am wondering if the order of your line segments is dependent on the order of your points.  For instance, if your points were input in the order of 1,2,3,4 but lay along the line in a different order such as 1,3,4,2 - this might have some effect on how the tool operates because my guess is that it is going to proceed through your points as it encounters them (which is dependent on the order they were created in), not as they are ordered along your line.  If that is the case, then possibly you can make this work more smoothly by ensuring that your points are ordered spatially along your line before you run the Split Line at Points tool.

One question I have is if you the segments you create are always the same length or if the segment length is always 1/5 of the total?  There are tools in arcmap for splitting a line into equal length segments and for creating points along a line.  But unless you start developing with arcobjects I suspect that you will have to do this manually, line by line, as I don't think there are equivalent tools available in model builder or which you can access from arcpy.
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MattBull
New Contributor II
The points being out of order might be the reason that the line segments end up out of order. I never really thought to check that and re-order the points. To answer your question about the segments, they are not going to be the same length or 1/5 of the length. The points along the line are, for all intents and purposes of this exercise, arbitrary. There is a reason they are placed where they are, but the bottom line is that the line segments won't be the same length. I'll try ensuring the points are in the right order next time and see if that makes a difference.

I appreciate your thoughts and hopefully I'll be able to figure this out.
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