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Drawing new features with the Editor toolbar

From: Up and Running with ArcGIS

Video: Drawing new features with the Editor toolbar

Now that we have an empty container file to hold our information, The next thing we want to do is turn Oh, I didn't click enough.

Drawing new features with the Editor toolbar

Now that we have an empty container file to hold our information, it's time to create some geo-spatial data through a process called digitizing. Digitizing involves using reference layers inside of an ArcMap layout and tracing the locations of new features that you want to capture. First we need to set up our working environment here inside of ArcMap. I've got a map loaded that includes a base map from Ezry's base map collection. If you need to add that, you can go up to the add data menu and choose add base map to choose it from the list. Next, I need to add in the files that we created in the last movie. I'm going to open up the catalogue window here, and go into the folder connections, the working folder, the Seattle Buildings geo-database file, and choose the Seattle buildings feature class.

I'm going to click and drag to add that to my map, and I'm going to place it on top of my base map. Now we need to add in a new toolbar to our environment. I can add the editor toolbar by going to the customize menu, toolbars and turning on the editor toolbar here, or I can choose the editor toolbar button here on the standard toolbar. That'll load up this new editor toolbar that we'll use in just a moment. Once the editor toolbar is on, let's go ahead and use the drop down list here and choose start editing. It's going to ask us what features we want to edit, I'm going to click Seattle buildings and we're going to go ahead and say OK.

The next thing we want to do is turn on this option here that says create features. Because we're not editing anything, we're creating new features, we want to turn this piece on, choose the Seattle buildings features that we want to edit and we're ready to go to start editing. Now we need to zoom into the area that we're looking to create features in. I'm going to digitize a couple of landmark buildings that were constructed for the 1962 World's Fair. From the bookmarks menu, I'm going to choose Space Needle to zoom into the correct area. Here we can see the Seattle Space Needle here and we can also see the Pacific Science Center Building here.

You might notice that there are some perspective distortion in the aerial photograph. This is actually taken from a plane in order to get this high resolution image. Typically, we think of air photos as coming from satellites but satellite imagery wouldn't typically display this kind of perspective where the tops of tall buildings such as the Space Needle are offset from their bases. So the footprint of the Space Needle is actually this lower circle over here. I'm going to start editing by grabbing the Circle feature from the Construction tools. And now when I click in the center of the Space Needle, I'll draw out a circle to represent the footprint of the building.

I can let go, I'll click again to finish the circle. If we need to move our circle into position, we'll choose this option here on the Editor toolbar, called Edit Tool and we can click and then we can drag and move it to a new position. So I can move this around to get it aligned perfectly with the footprint of the Space Needle. Now let's go ahead and do a building that's a little bit more complex. The Pacific Science Center is made up of a cluster of buildings so we're going to use the polygon construction tool to trace this feature. I'll click on polygon here and I can start tracing out the building. I can click on a few points, and you'll see that we can draw out the polygon but there's a much better way to do this.

Instead of free forming these right angles, what I can do is press Control Z to undo a few of these points and I can lock my angles in to right angles. From the editor toolbar, I'm going to use this drop down list and choose this option here, the right angle lock. Now, as I draw features, it'll lock my angles into right angles which is perfect for this building. So, now I can click and you'll see as I move my mouse it's locking it into a right angle. So I'll click to continue around the building. And that one's a little misplaced so I'll press control Z to back up and I'll place the point here and here and here.

Now we're at the dome that represents the 3D IMAX Theater at the Pacific Science Center. What I need to do here is change this tool now to the endpoint arc segment tool. That'll allow me to create an arc representing the dome. I'll click across the dome. And now I can use this rubber banding feature to click and create the arc for the dome. Now that I'm on the other side, I need to create another straight piece here. And now I'll lock it back into the right angle again. Oh, I didn't click enough. So I need to switch back to the straight tool. We'll click here.

Now, I'll switch to the right angle. There we go and I can continue around the building. When I get to the end, I'll just double-click to finish the feature and if I need to make any adjustments I can use the edit tool to select the feature and move it around. The last thing we need to do is populate the attribute tables for the two buildings we just digitized. After all, we want to make sure that other people know what these features are. Let's go ahead and press this button here on the editor toolbar to switch into attributes mode. Here, I've got the Pacific Science Center, it's still selected and you can tell by the cyan outline. I'm going to fill in the attributes for name as Pacific Science Center.

The date it was opened, was 1962, and the website is http://pacsci.org. I'm going to do the same thing for the Space Needle. Using the tool here, the Edit tool. I'll make sure I click on the space needle to select it, and give it a name a Space Needle. The data opened here was 1962 as well and the website, is spaceneedle.com, www.spaceneedle.com. Alright we're done editing our features so I'm going to go to the editor toolbar, and say Stop Editing.

It's going to ask if I want to save my edits and I'll go ahead and say yes. And now I'm done. Now I can use my identify tool just like I can any other feature and click on a building. It brings up the identify features and I can take a look at it's properties here including the website which is automatically created as a hyper link. If I click on it, it will take me to the website for the Pacific Science Center. Adding new features to an arc js feature class, either in a shape file format or a geo database format, is fairly straight forward but it does take some practice. Make sure you experiment with the snapping features as well as the other construction aides in the editor tool bar to make sure that your features are drawn as accurately as possible.

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Up and Running with ArcGIS

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Adam Wilbert


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