How To: Create connection lines between two or more points


The instructions provided describe how to create connection lines between two or more points in ArcMap. For example, seismic lines data spreadsheet usually consists of start and end point locations, representing the seismic lines to be shot in a survey. In ArcMap, it is possible to generate a set of lines from these points using the XY To Line tool.

To ensure the lines that generated in ArcMap are accurately located, the attribute table must contain the latitude and longitude of the start and end point features, as illustrated in the example below.

Excel table with required fields


Follow the steps below to create connection lines between two or more points on a map.

  1. Insert the XY data into ArcMap.
  2. Select the correct coordinate system and X and Y Fields.
    1. Right-click the particular layer in the data table, and select Display XY Data.

      Display XY data in ArcMap
    2. Select the X and Y values in the X and Y Fields.
    3. Click Edit to define a correct coordinate system.
    4. Click OK twice. The points are now added to the map as a layer in the Table of Contents.
  3. Save the points permanently.
    1. Right-click the event layer, and select Data > Export Data.
    2. Click the Browse button to select a location and name for the new file.
    3. Set the file type as shapefile or feature class.
    4. Click Save, and click OK.

      Points displayed after permanently saved with modified symbology as desired.
  4. Go to ArcToolbox > Data Management Tools > Features > XY to Line.
  5. Using the new shapefile or feature class created in Step 5, enter in the Start X-coordinate field, Start Y-coordinate field, End X-coordinate field, and End Y-coordinate field of the table.

    Parameters filled in the XY To Line tool
  6. Run the XY to Line tool.

    Output for the XY To Line tool

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