Merging line segments to form a single line and splitting it into parts of equal length.

06-27-2016 01:24 PM
New Contributor III

I have a massive road network polyline shapefile. The road segments are severely fragmented. I want to merge these several thousands of fragments into a single long line and then split the resulting line into segments of uniform length, say, one mile.

I approached this problem first by using the merge tool in editor toolbar. It asks me to "choose the feature with which other features will be merged". It seems that I have no control over the list of features from which I have to choose from. I select a feature nonetheless and perform the merge. A single line is then created. The real problem starts while trying to split this newly created line. I use the split tool in the editor toolbar. I specify the length of split and it splits only the feature I selected earlier while merging.

Can anyone suggest a method to solve my problem.   

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3 Replies
Regular Contributor


If you want to merge all of your road segments into a single feature, then the Dissolve tool is right for you. Just leave the 'dissolve field' parameter blank and you'll wind up with a single feature. Unfortunately you'll lose the unique attributes of the segments. There is a 'Statistics Fields' parameter that will allow you to retain attributes and choose how their values are populated in your resulting single feature.

As for splitting them at equal lengths, here is what I recommend: Once you have your single line feature, add it to ArcMap, start an edit session, and select the feature. Then, on the Editor Toolbar, choose the 'Split' command in the Editor menu. This will give you a dialog like this that will allow you to split the line at a distance of your choosing:

Hope this helps!


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New Contributor III


Thanks for the response. The dissolve part works fine.

However, while splitting the dissolved line, it seems as if the splitting operation is being terminated when it comes across a break in the line. (My network has gaps/break in between.) The output, instead of containing several parts of specified length, contains only of two parts. The first part has one short segment that begins at the beginning of the dissolved line and breaks at the first gap after the beginning. The second part is the remaining big chunk of the dissolved line.

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MVP Esteemed Contributor

I suspect it is behaving as designed since a gap represents the physical divide between two or more segments.  Does converting multipart to singlepart tool work?

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