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Generalization routines

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#1
Dennis McClendon

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I was a bit surprised last week to discover that generalization is apparently not part of ArcMap. You apparently have to have a higher level license to do things like smooth out the really crappy-looking interstate highways. Luckily I was mapping the Rocky Mountain region, so it only took a few minutes to redraw them in FreeHand.

Did I understand the help file correctly? Are there any smoothed, simplified highway files around?
Dennis McClendon, Chicago CartoGraphics
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#2
frax

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Dennis - first of all, you must mean ArcView - ArcMap is the map interface that you use with all license levels.

I have no experience with anything other than the full kit, but I checked - and it seemed like you are correct.

If you peek around, I think there are some 3rd party extensions/scripts (check on ArcScripts, for instance) that will do it cheaper than the built-in tools (and better?).

Personally, I sometimes use generalization stuff within Arc (also in ArcInfo ws) - but I prefer to do most of that in Illy - which doesn't work in all cases though, since Illy doesn't know anything about topology...
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#3
Rob

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At the SLC Nacis conference (2005) there was a presentation on a beta version website tool for generalization of data. I think the developers were from Wisconsin. This ring a bell with anyone? Any idea if they ever followed through with making this available?

I remember thinking at the time that it would be a tremedously useful and free tool, and then never really got to use it.

If anyone remembers this (I'm sure people will) and have any up to date information regarding the status, access, etc... I'd love to hear about it.

#4
margaret

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It's Mark Harrower's MapShaper
and you can just upload those highway shapefiles to it, generalize visually, and return the file to yourself.
Not only is it free, it's really fun to use!

#5
Rob

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Yup, that's it!!! Awesome. thanks for posting. i'll use it today on some shorelines.

#6
ELeFevre

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I believe the Generalization tools are included in the Spatial Analyst extension in ArcGIS.



#7
Cartisan Maps

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ET Geotools is an extension that can generalize as well. I believe that the free/demo version allows you to generalize up to 100 features at a time. It also enables some other tools that are normally found in the higher-end ArcGIS products.

http://www.ian-ko.com/

Between ET Geotools, XTools Pro, and Hawth's Analysis Tools, you can accomplish a lot. Often they are easier to use as well. And like I'd mentioned, even the free/demo versions have a lot of functionality. Plus they are all in once space, where I usually get lost trying to find individual scripts, and then forget I have them.

I hadn't heard of MapShaper, and am playing with it now. Really cool!

Brody.
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