Digitizing (Shapefile) – Part I

Create new shapefile (from ArcMap)

  • Windows pull-down > Catalog
  • In the Catalog
    • navigate to your working directory
    • right-click on your working directory > New > Shapefile
      • Name it
      • You are creating a polygon
      • Set the Spatial Reference (coordinate system)
        • Edit > Projected > UTM > NAD 1983 > NAD_1983_UTM_Zone_17N
    • You now have an empty shapefile loaded in the table of contents
  • Add needed fields to your Attribute Table
    • Open the new layer’s attribute table (right-click on the layer in the TOC and select Open Attribute Table)
      • Table Options (button in upper left) > Add Field
  • You now have an empty shapefile in the TOC with new fields

Set your Data Frame Coordinate System

  • View > Data Frame Properties > Coordinate System tab
  • We are working in eastern GA, so select Projected > UTM > NAD83 > Zone 17N


  • Start Editing your shapefile
    • Right-click on the layer in the TOC > Edit Features > Start Editing
  • Load the Editor toolbar
    • Right-click in the grey area at the top of the ArcGIS screen > check the box next to Editor
  • Open Create Features window
    • Editor pull-down > Editing Windows > Create Features
    • Make sure you select the correct layer (PropertyBoundary in this case)
    • Select your Construction Tool
  • Zoom into a starting area on the orthophoto
  • Click once to begin your polygon
  • Click along the OUTTER boundary of your property
  • Double-click to close the boundary polygon

Save your digitized feature: Editor > Stop Editing