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Simplify Shared Edges


Simplifies the edges of input features while maintaining the topological relationship with edges shared with other features.


Simplify Shared Edges tool example
Input 1 and Input 2 are simplified on all edges. Shared Edge Polygon and Shared Edge Line are simplified only along edges shared with Input 1 and Input 2.


  • This tool modifies the Input Features and Shared Edge Features parameters. It does not produce new output.

  • Simplification is applied to all Input Features edges and only Shared Edge Features edges that share an edge with any Input Features edges. Shared Edge Features edges that do not share an edge with at least one Input Features edge are not simplified.


SimplifySharedEdges_cartography (in_features, algorithm, tolerance, {shared_edge_features}, {minimum_area}, {in_barriers})
ParameterExplanationData Type

The lines or polygons to be simplified.

Feature Layer

Specifies the simplification algorithm.

  • POINT_REMOVERetains critical points that preserve the essential shape of a polygon outline and removes all other points. This is the default.
  • BEND_SIMPLIFYRetains the critical bends and removes extraneous bends from a polygon.
  • WEIGHTED_AREARetains vertices that form triangles of the effective area.

Determines the degree of simplification. If a unit is not specified, the units of the input will be used.

  • For the POINT_REMOVE algorithm, the tolerance is the maximum allowable perpendicular distance between each vertex and the new line created.
  • For the BEND_SIMPLIFY algorithm, the tolerance is the diameter of a circle that approximates a significant bend.
  • For the WEIGHTED_AREA algorithm, the square of the tolerance is the area of a significant triangle defined by three adjacent vertices.
Linear Unit

Line or polygon features that will be simplified along edges shared with input features. Other edges are not simplified.

Feature Layer

The minimum area for a polygon to be retained. The default value is zero, which will retain all polygons. A unit can be specified; if no unit is specified, the unit of the input will be used. This parameter is available only when at least one of the inputs is a polygon feature class.

Areal Unit

Point, line, or polygon features that act as barriers for the simplification. The simplified features will not touch or cross barrier features.

Feature Layer

Code sample

SimplifySharedEdges example (Python window)

The following Python window script demonstrates how to use the SimplifySharedEdges tool in immediate mode:

import arcpy
from arcpy import env
env.workspace = "C:/data/LandUse.gdb"
arcpy.SimplifySharedEdges_cartography("Water;Parks;", "POINT_REMOVE", "10 Meters", "Commercial;Highways;Buildings", "0 SquareMeters", None)
SimplifySharedEdges example (stand-alone script)

This stand-alone script shows an example of using the SimplifySharedEdges tool.

# Name:
# Description: Simplifies input features while maintaining topological relationships
# along shared edges. For features included as shared_edge_features (4th argument of 
# SimplifySharedEdges_cartography()) only the edges that are shared with 
# in_features (1st argument) are simplified. 

# Author: ESRI

# Import system modules
import arcpy
from arcpy import env

# Set environment settings
env.workspace = "C:/data/LandUse.gdb"

# Set local variables
in_features = "Water;Parks"
algorithm = "POINT_REMOVE"
tolerance = "10 Meters"
shared_edge_features = "Commercial;Highways;Buildings"
minimum_area = "0 SquareMeters"
barriers = None

# Execute Simplify Shared Edges
arcpy.SimplifySharedEdges_cartography(in_features, algorithm, tolerance, shared_edge_features, minimum_area, barriers)

Licensing information

  • ArcGIS Desktop Basic: No
  • ArcGIS Desktop Standard: Yes
  • ArcGIS Desktop Advanced: Yes

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