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Problem with unsuspected coordinate values when creating polygons with arcpy.

Question asked by lipus on Jan 24, 2020
Latest reply on Jan 24, 2020 by Dan_Patterson

I have a problem when creating polygon features with arcpy. I want to save rounded X and Y vertices for example to two decimal places. Example: 

I have coordinates given on two decimal places. I am expecting rounding error due to limitations in precision of float data type.


Lets say we are working with projected coordinate system with base units of 1 Meter. 


Example script (using dummy coordinate values):


import arcpy


point_coord = arcpy.Point(1.10, 2.13)

point = arcpy.PointGeometry(point_coord)


linestring_coords = [arcpy.Point(1.10, 2.13), arcpy.Point(2.44, 5.12)]

ls_array = arcpy.Array(linestring_coords)

linestring = arcpy.Polyline(ls_array)



poly_coords = [arcpy.Point(1.10, 2.13), arcpy.Point(2.44, 5.12), arcpy.Point(0.32, 4.2), arcpy.Point(1.10, 2.13)]

p_array = arcpy.Array(arcpy.Array(poly_coords))

poly = arcpy.Polygon(p_array)



print("Constructed point: {}".format(point.WKT))

print("Constructed polyline: {}".format(linestring.WKT))

print("Constructed polygon: {}".format(poly.WKT))



Constructed point: POINT (1.1000000000000001 2.1299999999999999)


Constructed polyline: MULTILINESTRING ((1.1000000000000001 2.1299999999999999, 2.4399999999999999 5.1200000000000001))


Constructed polygon: MULTIPOLYGON (((1.10009765625 2.130126953125, 2.44012451171875 5.1201171875, 0.32012939453125 4.2000732421875, 1.10009765625 2.130126953125)))



As said I am expecting rounding errors on for the values in point and polyline. But error on polygon coordinates is a lot bigger than 10e-10. If we say that base projection units are in meters that brings an error of 0.1 mm which is a lot in some surveying applications. I know that this error can be virtually rounded to 2 decimal places in arcmap or some other, but if I want to take these coordinates programically and perform some calculations the error grows and stays in data.


Is there a way to enforce rounding to values of coordinates for polygon features. How can this be the case in software meant for managing acurrate and high quality data.


I know for a fact, that some libraries outside arcgis ecosystem round coordinates normally for polygons (like point and polyline above). 


How can I achieve same 'precision' as when creating polylines but with Polygons.


Thanks in advance.