Hawth's Analysis Tools for ArcGIS

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 Summary

CREATE BUFFERS (RETAIN ATTRIBUTES) TOOL
Input: a feature layer (points, lines, polygons)
Output: a polygon layer representing the buffers of the features
Features:

  • will buffer at a constant distance, or allows the user to reference a field from the attribute table of the input features to create variable distance buffers
  • writes all attribute data from the input feature layer to the output feature layer

Limitations:

  • does not offer the more complex options for inner and outer buffers, and merging of buffers that the Geoprocessing Tool offers - this tool creates simple outer buffers (one for each input feature)
  • creates buffers using the coordinate system (spatial reference) of the input feature layer (ignores the "Display projection" in ArcMap)


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 Example

Figures A & B. Figure A shows a collection of points, and B shows the constant distance buffers that were created around those points. All the attribute data from the points is now also present in the buffer polygons.

 Help

Getting started. You need to have at least one feature layer loaded in ArcMap before you start this tool.

Projection warning You should be careful about creating any buffers with data that is in a Geographic Coordinate System. In these cases, one unit of measurement in the x axis (e.g. one second) is not equivalent to the same unit of measurement in the y axis. This descrepency becomes larger the further away from the equator your data is. In a Geographic Coordinate System a "perfect planar circle" would actually look like an ellipse. If possible, use a coordinate system that minimizes distortion, like UTM, State Plane, or for large geographic areas one of the Albers projections.

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