I have a two dimensional landscape with around 2000 xy points. I also have a single contour that winds its way through the landscape. I need to know how far each point is to the line, but i ultimately need the distance estimates to be polarized, so that points to the left have a negative distance, and those to the right have positive distances. A point exactly on the contour would have a distance of zero, and points further away have larger distance values.

I have been able to obtain distances from each point to the contour using the NEAR TABLE tool. Problem is they are all positive, and there are far too many points to eyeball each point to see if it is left or right of the contour. Is there a simple method for generating a list of xy points on each side of the contour, or a more efficient was of obtaining polarized measurements?

Thanks in advance

Sean

In order to answer that one needs to specify the direction of travel along the polyline. Is left and right in the direction of digitizing or opposite it or are you trying to get some east vs west or North vs south statement.

Looking at the Near Tool's help topic you should be able to exploit the location and angle option if you specified them. For example you could compare the X coordinates of the points with the X's of the location of the nearest point. If the line was running in the N/S direction, a value of X for the point would be negative if it were less than the X for the nearest point location etc etc you can come up with the rule set by examine these information in light of the point pattern and the location, shape and tortuosity of your linear feature. PS A picture would be nice in your next post or in the original