Minimum Bounding Geometry (Data Management)


Creates a feature class containing polygons which represent a specified minimum bounding geometry enclosing each input feature or each group of input features.


Minimum Bounding Geometry tool illustration



MinimumBoundingGeometry_management (in_features, out_feature_class, {geometry_type}, {group_option}, {group_field}, {mbg_fields_option})
ParameterExplanationData Type

The input features that can be point, multipoint, line, polygon, or multipatch.

Feature Layer

The output polygon feature class.

Feature Class

Specifies what type of minimum bounding geometry the output polygons will represent.

  • RECTANGLE_BY_AREAThe rectangle of the smallest area enclosing an input feature. This is the default.
  • RECTANGLE_BY_WIDTHThe rectangle of the smallest width enclosing an input feature.
  • CONVEX_HULLThe smallest convex polygon enclosing an input feature.
  • CIRCLEThe smallest circle enclosing an input feature.
  • ENVELOPEThe envelope of an input feature.

The CONVEX_HULL, CIRCLE, and ENVELOPE options are only available with an ArcInfo license.


Specifies how the input features will be grouped; each group will be enclosed with one output polygon.

  • NONEInput features will not be grouped. This is the default. This option is not available for point input.
  • ALLAll input features will be treated as one group.
  • LISTInput features will be grouped based on their common values in the specified field or fields in the group field parameter.

The field or fields in the input features that will be used to group features, when LIST is specified as Group Option. At least one group field is required for LIST option. All features that have the same value in the specified field or fields will be treated as a group.


Specifies whether to add the geometric attributes in the output feature class or omit them in the output feature class.

  • NO_MBG_FIELDSOmits any input attributes in the output feature class. This is the default.
  • MBG_FIELDSAdds the geometric attributes in the output feature class.

Code Sample

MinimumBoundingGeometry Example 1 (Python window)

The following Python window script demonstrates how to use the MinimumBoundingGeometry function in immediate mode.

import arcpy
from arcpy import env
env.workspace = "C:/data"
                                         "RECTANGLE_BY_AREA", "NONE")
MinimumBoundingGeometry Example 2 (stand-alone script)

The following stand-alone script is a simple example of how to apply the MinimumBoundingGeometry function in a scripting environment.

# Name:
# Description: Use MinimumBoundingGeometry function to find an area 
#              for each multipoint input feature.
# Author: ESRI

# import system modules 
import arcpy
from arcpy import env

# Set environment settings
env.workspace = "C:/data"

# Create variables for the input and output feature classes
inFeatures = "treeclusters.shp"
outFeatureClass = "forests.shp"

# Use MinimumBoundingGeometry function to get a convex hull area
#         for each cluster of trees which are multipoint features
arcpy.MinimumBoundingGeometry_management(inFeatures, outFeatureClass, 
                                         "CONVEX_HULL", "NONE")


Related Topics

Licensing Information

ArcView: Yes
ArcEditor: Yes
ArcInfo: Yes