Generalize reduces the complexity of a line or a polygon feature while retaining its basic shape. If map topology is turned on, connectivity among all shared boundaries is preserved. This tool is available in the Modify Features pane.
Generalizing features can help you simplify features for display at smaller scales or standardize a dataset to a more uniform scale resolution. Alternatively, you can generalize features using a geoprocessing tool.
To generalize a feature, perform the following steps:
- On the ribbon, click the Edit tab. In the Manage Edits group, click the Topology drop-down arrow and choose one of the following settings:
Modify adjacent features and maintain connectivity among all shared boundaries.
Modify only the selected features and create coincident boundary segments between them.
- On the Edit tab, in the Features group, click Modify .
- In the Modify Features pane, expand Reshape and click Generalize .
- In the Generalize pane, check or uncheck Show Preview.
Dynamically preview the results for values typed in the pane before generalizing the feature.
Do not show a preview.
- Click the Select tool , and select line or polyline features that are on the same layer.
- To remove features from the selection, right-click a feature in the tree view and click Unselect or Only Select This .
- Choose a method for generalizing the selected features.
Change curved segments to a series of line segments. Existing line segments remain unchanged. The final shape is generalized within the maximum allowable offset setting you specify in the pane.
Change straight edges and angular corners to Bézier curves. The final shape is simplified and smoothed within the maximum allowable offset setting you specify in the pane.
Insert vertices at constant intervals and change curved segments to a series of line segments. You can insert segments that approximate the entire feature or modify only the curved segments within a maximum offset distance or deflection angle.
- If Simplify is enabled, click the Maximum Allowable Offset text box, and type the distance in map units within which you want the feature generalized.
Values greater than zero (0) simplify curved segments along the curve using the Douglas-Peucker simplification algorithm.
- If Smooth is enabled, click the Maximum Allowable Offset text box, and type the distance in map units within which you want the feature generalized.
- Zero (0) converts each segment to a Bézier curve.
- Values greater than zero (0) first generalize the feature using the Douglas-Peucker simplification algorithm. Finally, Bézier curves are created for each remaining segment with complementary tangents that create smooth transitions between segments.
- If Densify is enabled, choose how segments are densified.
Replace the entire feature with line segments at constant intervals whose lengths do not exceed the specified linear distance.
- If the distance is zero (0), no vertices are added.
- If the distance is negative, the system default value is applied.
Replace curves with line segments whose vertices do not extend beyond the specified maximum offset.
Replace curves with line segments whose deflection angles do not exceed the specified angle.
- Click Generalize.