Convert coverage route features to polylineM shapefile features

Last Published: April 25, 2020


The ARCSHAPE command in ArcInfo Workstation does not create polylineM features when converting a coverage route system into a shapefile. Route features are converted to simple polylines and the measure values are not maintained.


Several methods exist for creating shapefiles that contain polylineM features depending on the ArcGIS license available.

  • ArcInfo - Workstation

    1. Use the DEFINE LAYER command to create a defined layer from the route feature class .

    Usage: LAYER DEFINE <defined_layer> COVERAGE <cover> <featureclass>

    Arc: layer define temp coverage testcov route.river

    2. Use the LAYEREXPORT command with the SHAPEFILE option to create a measured shapefile.

    Usage: LAYEREXPORT <defined_layer> SHAPEFILE <shapefile>

    Arc: layerexport temp shapefile river.shp

  • ArcInfo - ArcToolbox or ArcCatalog

    Use the Coverage to Shapefile conversion tools to export the route feature class. The new shapefile will contain measured polyline features.

  • ArcView, ArcEditor, and ArcInfo - ArcMap

    1. Add the route feature class to the display.

    2. Right-click the route layer in the Table of Contents and select Data > Export Data.

    3. Create a new shapefile from features in this layer.

    4. Click OK.

Article ID:000004730

  • Legacy Products
  • ArcMap 8 x

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