Generate chainage along a line feature

This is a request which comes up quite often. Normally, the request is to create points along a pipeline at every 1000m (or some other integer). Sometimes it will be for chainage along a road, but it’s always a line feature which defines a route of some kind. The first time I did this, I used ET GeoWizards, which was an excellent starting point. However, with access to an ArcInfo Advanced licence, I decided to try it using only geoprocessing tools found in ArcToolbox. This did not go well. I then turned to something which I should have turned to at the beginning – Python.

# @date 27/11/2014
# @author Cindy Williams
# Generates chainage at a set distance along line features
# and saves it to an existing, empty point feature class.
# The point feature class should have a predefined schema
# in case other attributes need to be transferred.
# For use as a standalone script.
import arcpy
arcpy.env.workspace = r"C:\Some\Arb\Folder\work.gdb"
pts = [] # Empty list for chainage points
route ="ftr_route") # Feature class containing route features
chain ="ftr_chain") # Empty points feature class
i = 1000 # Set the chainage amount
# Remove previous attempts at generating chainage
print("Chainage feature class emptied.")
# Loop over all the features in the route feature class
with arcpy.da.SearchCursor(route,["SHAPE@", "Route_Name"]) as rows:
for row in rows:
print("\tGenerating chainage along " + row[1])
leng = row[0].length # Get the length of the current feature
pts.append((0,(row[0].positionAlongLine(0)), row[1])) # Get the start point
n = i # Start the count for current feature
while i < leng:
# Add a point at every i metres
pts.append((i,(row[0].positionAlongLine(i)), row[1]))
n += i
pts.append((leng,(row[0].positionAlongLine(leng)), row[1])) # Get the end point
# Open a cursor on the points layer
cursor = arcpy.da.InsertCursor(chain,("LEN","SHAPE@XY", "Route_Name"))
# Insert list of points into chainage feature class
for row in pts:
del pts, cursor
print("Script completed.")

One thought on “Generate chainage along a line feature

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.