Creating a new shapefile


In ArcCatalog right click on the folder the new shapefile will be stored in.

Select “New…Shapefile”

Name the shapefile and select the feature type (point, line, polygon)

Click OK


Right click on the new shapefile and select “properties”

(this is where you define the fields of your data table)

First set your spatial reference.

            Click on the Geometry field, confirm the Geometry Type is correct.

Next click on the ellipse next in the spatial reference row and Import the spatial data from the photo you are working with.

Add other relevant field names and set the data type as text, Double integer etc.

Be sure to add fields named Shape_Length and Shape_area, set these both as double integer.


Click OK


Open the shapefile in ArcMap, be sure it is selected, and click on “Start Editing” in the Editor toolbar (may need to open under View…Toolbars)


 If a shape file has been started but the Shape_length and Shape_area fields were not defined, they can be created fairly easily…


1)      Create the new fields in the table

2)      Select the field column, right click and select “Calculate values”

3)      Double click on Shape in the field box (left side) since this is what area and perimeter are based on.

4)      After [Shape] type “.returnarea” for Shape_area and “.returnlength” for Shape_length.

5)      Values will then be updated by the computer.