Noobie - converting contours to polygons

Discussion created by rgilbank on Jun 11, 2011
Latest reply on Jun 13, 2011 by dkwiens
Hi there,
I'm working on a project for school and was hoping someone could help me out.  I'm sure it's fairly easy, just not sure what the best method is. 
I downloaded a shapefile from here ('Curvas de nivel') which contains elevation data about the contours of Mexico.  I'm hoping to convert that to a series of polygons so I can fill in a background colour for various increments to create a simple topographic map.  What's the best way to do that?  I know I can select by elevation, convert that to a new shapefile and apply the "Feature to polygon" tool to create a layer with a solid background colour and stack them up on each other.  I'd like a way that's a little more dynamic though so I can modify the intervals without having to go through all these steps repeatedly.  How can this be done?  If any additional information is needed or I'm missing important details, please let me know.