Ask A Cartographer

Putting a Grid on a polygon layer

December 31 2008 | 3 comments
Categories: Data Modeling


Just wondering if there is an easy way of putting an equidistant (e.g 200m grid) grid over a polygon shape. We had a hard time doing this over a reclamation polygon to signify drop-down video survey areas on the grid's intersection. What we did was a grid over the whole data frame which is a bad idea because there are still two more polygons to grid with a different distance each.

Look forward to your input, thanks!

Mapping Center Answer:

Have you tried using the Create Fishnet tool?  With this, you can create a grid that has the spacing (in your case, 200m) and extent (you would define the number of rows and columns as well as the origin of the grid) that you want.  This is an example of a grid with 200m spacing that I made to cover the extent of Corvallis, OR:


Using this approach, you would be assured that 1) the grid is a feature class, so 2) it will have the same projection as your data.  The output from this function is a set of lines that make up the edges of the grid cells, as well as an optional point feature class that contains the label information. To convert this to a polygon feature class with the labels included, use the Feature to Polygon tool and specify the label feature class as the Label Features:



Thanks! posted by christopher nacional on Jan 5 2009 6:11AM
This is exactly what we wanted to do. I really appreciate this, thanks a lot! Putting the grid over a feature will now be a lot more easier.

Keep up the good work!
can you do this without ArcInfo posted by Mike Horst on Mar 17 2010 9:01AM
I've done this, but don't have ArcInfo. I need the fishnet to be a polygon so that I can analyze the number and attribute of points in a square mile. Is there any way to do this with just ArcView?
Python? posted by Aileen Buckley on Mar 18 2010 9:40AM
I am not aware of any way to do this with an ArcView level license of ArcGIS, except perhaps wtih some Python code.

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