Fill gaps between polygons based on the extension of the surrounding polygons

Last Published: April 25, 2020


In some instances, a map layer may have gaps between polygon features. The gaps may represent a clear area that exists in a specific region, for example, a deforested area in a forest region. Developers of the area may replant trees in the deforested area with an extent represented by the feature line as shown in the image below.

Empty gaps between polygons

However, before replanting, developers may require a detailed map with an estimation of the extent to be planted. The gaps between polygons must be filled manually based on the extension of the surrounding polygons, and the features are merged.


The instructions below describe how to fill the gaps between polygons based on the extension of the surrounding polygons.

  1. In ArcMap, start an edit session.

    Start editing option
  2. Click the Create Features icon on the toolbar.

    Create Feature icon
  3. In the Create Features dialog box, select one of the polygons adjacent to the gap, and click the Auto Complete Polygon tool under the Construction Tools section.

    Create Feature dialog box
  4. Draw a line from one edge to another to complete the gap as shown in the image below.

    Polygon feature created from Auto Complete tool polygon
  5. Click the Clear Selected Features icon clear selected feature icon  to remove the selection.

    Image displayed after clicking Clear Selected Feature icon
  6. Click the Editor drop-down arrow and save the edits.
  7. Use the Edit tool Editor tool  to select the recently filled polygon and the adjacent polygon by pressing the Shift key.

    Both adjacent and newly created polygon feature (filled gap)
  8. Click the Editor drop-down arrow and select Merge....

    Merge option
  9. In the Merge dialog box, click the existing polygon feature and click OK to view the merged polygons.

    Merge dialog box

    Merging of polygons
  10. Repeat Steps 6 to 9 to merge the other filled polygons with the adjacent polygons until all the gaps are filled and polygons merged.

    Merging of polygons

    Empty gap closed

Article ID:000018639

  • ArcMap

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