Introduction to ArcGIS Pro (Part 4): Creating Features
Today I am taking a little detour to show you the workflow of creating features in ArcGIS Pro. Although I purposely have ensured that the features we will be editing will not affect our analysis results (in part 6), I would recommend you to follow along, as feature editing is an important part of being a GIS analyst. If you nevertheless feel that you want to skip this part, you are safe to skip to part 5, where we will run our final analyses. Now, let’s get started.
In 2018, metro line 52 will get opened in Amsterdam. If you are more interested in this project you can read more here:
Lucky for us, this metro line and its corresponding stations, are not added to the dataset yet. This gives us ample of opportunity to learn feature creation! Later on, we will create a metro line, and a park, so you will get experience with digitizing both point, line, and polygon features.
Now let’s start creating features!
Creating a station
We will start by adding the 8 stations. To help you I will provide the coordinates of each station so it will be easy to get the location right.
- To get started, I would recommend hiding all layers except TRAMMETRO_STATIONS to make the next steps easier.
- On the ribbon, open the Edit tab.
- In the Features group, click the Create button.
- A Create Features pane will open on the right side of your window. In it will be listed all your active layers. If you have deactivated all layers besides TRAMMETRO_STATIONS it should be the only one listed. Select the Metro category to start creating metro station features.
- As you move your mouse over the map, you will now notice a blue circle following your cursor. If you would click a metro station feature would get created. But we need to create these at specific coordinates. If you right click instead you will get the option to specify specific X, Y and Z coordinates. Go ahead and click Absolute X, Y, Z.
- Fill out the coordinates for the first (farthest north) station, Noord. These are: 52.401667 (latitude) and 4.932222 (longitude). When done, press Enter. This has created a point. If you are lost, zoom out a bit and look a little bit more up north.
- Before finishing up, we can fill in the field values for this newly created feature. Find the active template pane button on the create features pane. It is located right next to the Metro category. Click on it.
- Now you get the opportunity to fill in a value for each field. FID_1 you can leave empty, as it gets a value automatically as field ID. For Lijn and Lijn_select fill out 52 (the line), and Modaliteit is already filled in. I have not been able to find out what RADIUS means in this context, so just leave it empty.
- When you are finished, you can click the Finish operations button with the square and green checkmark. This confirms the changes. You can find it in the lower area of your map view.
- Finally, hit the Save button on the Edit bar, which you can find in the Manage Edits group. Technically, you can postpone this after we have created all features, but I like to save often.
Adding more stations
Now, repeat steps 5-10 this for the other seven stations on the line. Well, you are in luck since Amsterdam Central and Amsterdam Zuid station are already added on the map, as these connect to other metro lines.
Here is a list of the stations with their respective coordinates. Note that the first number is the latitude in decimals, and the second the longitude. So you will have to fill them in the opposite order on the Absolute X, Y, Z window.
- Noorderpark – 52.389167, 4.919167
- Amsterdam Central – 52.378333, 4.9 (already added)
- Rokin – 52.371111, 4.892778
- Vijzelgracht – 52.360833, 4.891111
- De pijp – 52.353611, 4.890556
- Europaplein – 52.341667, 4.8925
- Amsterdam Zuid – 52.338889, 4.873056 (already added)
Your end result should look similar to this (note, I have hidden the tram stations and all lines temporarily):
Creating a metro line
Now, let’s create the metro line feature between the station points we have just created.
- Make sure the create features pane is still open. If not, open it by clicking the create button on the edit tab.
- Now, instead of clicking metro underneath TRAMMETRO_STATIONS on the create feature pane, select metro underneath TRAMMETRO_LINES.
- A new button will show up, which allow for creating line features in different ways. Click the first, Line.
- Similar as before, right click to get the option to specify specific X, Y and Z coordinates. Go ahead and click Absolute X, Y, Z.
- Fill out the coordinates for the first (farthest north) station, Noord. These are: 52.401667 (latitude) and 4.932222 (longitude). When done, press Enter.
- Repeat step 5 for all other coordinates. If you need to move the map while creating point you can hold C and click and move the mouse.
- When you are finished, you can click the Finish operations button with the square and green checkmark. You can find it in the lower area of your map view.
- Finally, hit the Save button on the Edit bar, which you can find in the Manage Edits group.
- A new line should now be visible.
Digitizing a park
Hopefully, you are managing to follow along. I really want to show you how to create polygon features before moving on to editing and deleting features in the next part. Now, let’s start to add a park feature to our parks layer.
- We will create out park feature based on satellite images. It is, therefore, a very good idea to change your basemap to a satellite basemap. If you can’t remember how, find the Basemap dropdown on the Map tab, and select Sattelite. Let’s get started with adding our park. It should feel quite familiar as with the point and line features.
- Locate the park at 4,9978097°E 52,3265664°N. To zoom to these coordinates,
find the Locate button on the map tab. A locate pane will show up, with a text field in which you can copy these exact coordinates. It is important to use this exact formatting as the function seems to be very sensitive. Hit enter after filling in the coordinates, and the map should zoom to a green area.
- It should look something like this. If not, zoom in or out depending on your view. Your scale should be somewhere around 1:1000. You can see this in the bottom left below your map view.
- Let’s start digitizing. As before, find the Create button on the Edit tab and click it. Select any of the categories underneath PARKS in the create features pane. The reason this does not matter is that we will calculate the area for the created park afterward, which will put it in the right symbology.
- There are a lot of new buttons visible now, but we actually don’t need to do anything complicated now. Before moving on, open the active template pane by clicking the blue arrow next to the selected category. For name fill out Speelbos Banjerbossie. If you want, fill out the rest. This is not that important for our goals.
- Now, we are going to draw a polygon around the park seen on the satellite. Find a location to start on the park border (I started on the bottom at around 4,9976896°E 52,3192908°N), and left click once.
- Now move your cursor to the next point and left click, and continue moving around the park’s edge until it is encircled. Afterwards, right click, and click Finish.
- You will notice that the polygon is likely shown in the wrong color. This is because it’s area is not calculated yet. We will do this now. Make sure the new park polygon is selected. You can do this by selecting it on the map by using the Select tool on the Map tab, and clicking the feature. An alternative way is finding the feature in the attribute table and select it there (it should be listed last).
- Open the Calculate Field pane by pressing the Calculate button above the attribute table. For input table, select PARKS. For Field Name select Area. Finally in the checkbox underneath Area, write !shape.area@SQUAREMETERS!. Double check your fields with the screenshot below.
- Press Run in the bottom left.
- The area field for the selected feature should show a value close to 100000. In addition, the polygon symbology color should have adjusted to the right color.
And that’s it. We are doing creating several features. We digitized metro stations, a metro line, and a new park. You can be proud! Let’s move on to the next part.