Extending ArcGIS 10 editing capabilities with new add-ins

I was exploring ArcGIS.com this morning and came across an excellent resource I wasn’t aware of and wanted to share.  It’s called ArcGIS Editing Labs.

This site is a warehouse for various tools and models designed to enhance your editing experience and improve editing workflows. Two tools in particular caught my eye: the Auto Complete Freehand Construction Tool and the Cut Polygons With Circle Tool. 

Auto Complete Freehand Tool

This tool is designed as a “sketch” tool (it was originally part of ArcSketch, which was deprecated at version 10). It facilitates free-hand design drawings so planners, designers, landscape architects, and other design professionals can quickly sketch ideas for proposals. For example, imagine you are a landscape architect and want to sketch a couple of ideas for a proposed wastewater treatment wetland.  With the auto-complete freehand tool, you can sketch, say, polygons by using your mouse as the pencil. The lines will follow your cursor and the new polygons will append to existing polygons ensuring topological integrity.

This tool is available for download from here. Once installed the new tool appears in the “create features” window.

Cut Polygons With Circle Tool

This is a new tool created to cut circles with a user-defined radius from underlying polygons. This tool proves useful in several scenarios. For example, you might use this if you needed to cut storage ponds from surrounding land area, or design a series of  sculpture gardens for a new art museum.

Using the example of the storage ponds, I’ll cut out a series of ponds from surrounding treatment area polygon. I download and install the Cut Polygons With Circle Tool add-in, then add the command to an existing toolbar using the Customize dialog box.

Next, I select the treatment area and click the Cut Polygons With Circle tool. I click on the point where I want the center of the circle to be placed ( I can also type “A” and enter the x and y coordinates of the point) and a line appears showing me the radius of the circle as I draw. Now, I can either press “R” and enter the exact radius, or manually drag the circle to the approximate size I want. When I’m finished I press “Enter” to cut the polygon. Now I have two features—the actual circle and the surrounding area with a hole cut in it. The circle inherits the attributes of the polygon it was cut from, so I need to update the “features” attributes to reflect its new use.

Hope you enjoy!

Keera P

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