Polytool 4.4

by Johannes Weigel


Polytool 4.4 requires ArcView GIS 3.2 or higher (NOT ArcGIS 8.x or 9.x)
There's a version for ArcView GIS 3.1 available for download as well. This version does not include the TRANSFORM SHAPE tools.


Polytool is an extension for ArcView 3.x with several features for the work with shapes. The current version contains these tools:
- SPLIT POLYGONS: Divide shapes into exact halves (or other parts). This feature requires an editable FTheme in the active view.
- THREE-CLICK SHAPES: Create exact rectangles or circles from three points
- BEZIER CURVES: Create bezier curves and arrows
- CENTER LINES: Find centerlines (axes) of polygons
- BETTER LINE BUFFER: Buffer line themes with unbowed ends
- TRANSFORM SHAPES: Scale, move and rotate shapes
- CIRCLE SEGMENTATION (new): Create circles around points with several options

Polytool Preferences
Specify a relative part (in percent) or an absolute value (in map units) that you want to cut off an existing polygon. You may use this tool for the following purposes:
- Split digitized roofs in the middle (50%)
- Divide fields into exact parts (e.g. for soil samples)
- Cut off an exact part of a field for cultivation planning

Specify, if you want to create arrows or normal lines. The arrows are created as multipart polylines consisting of three single parts. If you want to create arrows, you have to specify an angle and a length (depends on your map units and scale) of the arrowhead.
You can only use this tool to create polylines (not polygons). You may use this tool for the following purposes:
- Visualization of traffic flows
- Water, air or any other streaming
- Digitizing any polylines with smooth edges

Define rectangles or circles by three clicks. If the shape is a rectangle, you define one side with the first two clicks and then doubleclick on the opposite side. If you digitize circles, you place three points on the perimeter of the circle.
You may use this tool for the following purposes:
- Digitizing rectangle shapes, like roofs, buildings etc.
- Digitizing circles from which you can't see the center (e.g. silos)

Load a polygon theme
with longish shapes into your view and activate the theme. With this feature you can draw a line from outside a shape into the shape. The creation of the centerline starts at that side of the polygon and continues (if successful) to the opposite side.
If you activate "snap to center", the start point (and also the end point) of the center line is exactly positioned between two vertices of the shape.
The absolue vertex density is the distance between the vertices of the centerline in map units (it may differ in specific cases, especially if the shape is very broad). If you specify a relative vertex density (which is recommended) of the value n, the absolute distance between the vertices of the centerline matches the ratio of the polygon width (if the small side of the polygon has two vertices) by n.
The maximum curvature specifies the maximum angle in degrees between two vertices (also this may differ in special cases, especially at the conclusion of the centerline).
If your computer is very fast, you can decrease the precision of deviation. Centerlines become more accurate with a lower precision.
You may use this tool for the following purposes:
- Find centerlines of rivers, streets

Specify a step in map units and a direction in degree, clockwise from the North which has a value of 0. Then press the button with the running man. You can also use the arrow buttons to move the shape(s) around. If there are any features selected, only the selected features are shifted. Use the top right button to undo the changes.

Specify a factor to scale the shape(s) or selected features respectively. Values between 0 and 1 shrinks the shapes, values higher than 1 expand them.
You can specify a reference point for scaling the shapes with the reference point tool (default is center of the selected shapes). The values can also be changed manually. Use the top right button to undo the changes.

Specify an angle to rotate the shape(s) or selected features respectively. The rotation angle is specified in degree, clockwise from the North which has a value of 0. You can specify a reference point for the rotation of the shapes with the reference point tool (default is center of the selected shapes). The values can also be changed manually. Use the top right button to undo the changes.
Move, scale and rotate shapes


Example for the use of centerline with Polytool
You can download a sample file to test the Polytool centerline method. The packet contains a polygon shape and a centerline that has been created with the parameters in the dialog above (absolute vertex density: 10 m, maximum curvature: 75, precision of deviation: 0.5). You can download the shapefile here:

Santa Clara river (California)

Polytool is able to produce nicer centerlines than Arc/INFO with no limitations in the width of the shape. Thanks to Nicholas Tripcevich (Univ. of California, Santa Barbara) for making the data available.

Download and Installation:

Download polytool.exe and run it. All files will be installed in the appropriate directories.
Activate Polytool in the Extension dialog (-->Program -->Extensions) and open a new view.

Download Polytool 3.71 if you use ArcView 3.1. It doesn't include the TRANSFORM SHAPE tools. You have to place the file manually in the $AVEXT directory (like c:\esri\Av_gis30\arcview\ext32). This version may contain some bugs that are already fixed in the newer versions.

New in latest versions:

1.0: Polytool is released with the feature 'Divide shapes into exact halves'
1.1: Calculation is faster, more accurate and more stable now!
1.2: Additional dialog provides information about Polytool.
2.0: New feature: Digitize rectangles by clicking three points.
2.1: Polytool is licensed as Shareware: To turn off nag screens when digitizing, please register Polytool.
2.2: Draw bezier curves from four points.
2.3: Polytool can be registered with a license key now
2.4: -Bezier curves can be created from three points now
     -Rectangles can be created even if x coordinates or y coordinates of the first two points are identical.
2.5: The new preferences dialog allows the user to divide areas in other parts than halves.
2.6: Exact parts in map units can be specified to be cut off.
2.7: Draw arrows as bezier curves.
2.8: Digitize circles from three points.
2.9: Create bezier curves from an unlimited number of points.
3.0: Polytool menu, circle symbol for the circle tool and other cosmetic changes.
3.1: -Bug fixed: Create linear arrows/lines when 'bezier curves' from two points are chosen.
     -Once registered, the serial number doesn't have to be reentered now.
3.2: New feature: Find centerlines of streets, rivers etc.
3.3: Line extraction faster and more reliable now
3.4: Language selection: Choose between German and English language
3.5: Help button: Open the polytool homepage for help
3.6: New feature: Buffer line themes with unbowed ends
3.7: Minor bugfixes
3.8: New feature: Scale shapes
3.9: New feature: Move shapes
4.0: -New feature: Rotate shapes
     -New dialog for preferences to scale, move and rotate shapes
4.0.1: Minor bugfixes
4.1: -Scale and rotate around any point (default: center of the shapes)
     -Display and change the coordinates of the reference point, or just click to define the point
     -Undo button
     -Some optical changes to the dialog
4.1.1: -Improved undo functionality
         -Minor bugfixes
4.2: -Additional undo improvement
     -Fixed bug in deinstallation (now stable)
4.3: Integrated the circle segmentation (segmentation.avx) as new feature into Poyltool
4.4: 'Divide shapes' works with multiple separations now (BETA!)

http://www.ecogis.net (Homepage) or

Register Polytool:

Please register Polytool, if You like it.
Polytool pricing:

Single user license: EUR 150,- per license
Additional licenses: EUR 50,- per license

Prices in US$ and other currencies are subject to exchange rates. You can register Polytool by sending me an email or using the ECOGIS Shop.
I then send you my bank account information, and immediately after I receive your bank transfer, you get an email with a registration key. You can also register Polytool at Regsoft.com if you want. Just follow the instructions below. Here is my email adress (for seurity reasons as an image, so you may have to typewrite it into your email program):


You can also use the order form to order Polytool and other ECOGIS software per fax if you want. If you want to use a different option for payment (fax, phone credit card etc.),  you can also register Polytool at RegSoft.com with other options for payment. As the regular currency at Regsoft.com is US$, these price codes are fixed. You can also pay in other currencies at Regsoft.com (Euro, Yen, Canadian Dollar, Australian Dollar and British Pound), but the prices are subject to exchange rates)

Buy Polytool at Regsoft.com


There are still some bugs and handicaps that I am trying to fix in the near future:
- SPLIT POLYGONS: You have to define map units (in the view|properties dialog), otherwise the feature is not going to work. You also need an editable polygon theme in your view to use this feature.
- SPLIT POLYGONS: In some cases the iteration for the exact division goes into an endless loop. Don't worry: You can always stop the process by pressing the stop button and restart it...
- THREE-CLICK SHAPES may be drawn incorrectly if map units are unknown.
- CENTER LINES: In some cases erroneous deviations of the center line occurr at the end of the line. E.g., the line bends off to the corner of the polygon (street, river etc..) instead of directly connecting to the concluding side. You can either correct the errors manually or adapt the parameters in the Polytool dialog (increase the value for the relative vertex density and/or decrease the maximum curvature).
Try absolute vertex density if your centerline continuously gets off the road.
- TRANSFORM SHAPES: This feature does not work with ZShapes. You may use Edit Tools to convert ZShapes into regular shapes.

Please report bugs if you find some. Special thanks to Harald Kuttig for testing the latest version.

Portions of this work contain intellectual property of Johannes Weigel and are used herein with permission.
(c) 2003-2007 Johannes Weigel, Hannover
All rights reserved

Deutsch: http://www.ecogis.de/polytool_de.html

Deutsch: http://www.ecogis.de/

last edited: Johannes Weigel, Sep. 11, 2007