How To: Create polygons from contour polylines


Polygons are created from contour polylines for several reasons, including honoring barriers for better-looking geographical surface representation, offering better contour data visualization, and improving contour data representation for analysis.

The instructions provided describe how to create polygons from contour lines in ArcMap.


There are two options to create polygons from contour polylines. Option A is to use the Feature to Polygon tool while Option B is to use the Convert Polylines To Polygon tool.

 The contour lines must be enclosed line segments before polygons can be created. Trace the lines and manually close the lines or find polylines or paths that close on themselves. 

Option A - Apply the Feature to Polygon tool

  1. In ArcMap, navigate to ArcCatalog > Toolboxes > System Toolboxes > Data Management > Features > Feature To Polygon
  1. Fill in the parameters and click OK.
The output feature class is shown in the Table Of Contents.

Option B - Use the Covert Polylines To Polygon tool
See the Web Help topic, Creating polygons from polylines

The Covert Polylines To Polygon tool is available with a Production Mapping license.

Related Information