New and improved geoprocessing tools in ArcGIS 10

About this page

This list of new and improved tools excludes those tools which are licensed with an ArcGIS extension. See What's is new in ArcGIS > ArcGIS extensions book for new and improved geoprocessing tools found in those extension's toolboxes.

Analysis toolbox

Improved tools





These tools now support point on point, and line on line overlay.


These tools now support line features with vertical line segments. For more information, see Geoprocessing considerations for vertical line segments




Spatial Join

The tool is able to process much larger datasets and most operations will complete in shorter amount of time.

Cartography toolbox

Toolset changes

  • Annotation toolset: this new toolset contain tools to create and update annotation data.
  • Cartographic Refinement toolset: this toolset toolset was named the Symbolization Refinement toolset in previous releases. The tools remain the same except that the Calculate Geodesic Angle tool has been deprecated at ArcGIS 10. It has been replaced by the Calculate Grid Convergence Angle tool in the Data Driven Pages toolset. The Calculate Grid Convergence Angle tool uses an improved mathematical algorithm for defining this angle. Existing scripts and models that reference Calculate Geodesic Angle will continue to work, but you should consider modifying your workflows to take advantage of the Calculate Grid Convergence Angle tool's improved algorithm instead.
  • Data Driven Pages toolset: this new toolset contain tools to create and prepare layers for use in data driven pages.
  • Generalization toolset: this new toolset contains tools that are used to simplify and refine features for display at smaller scales. This toolset contains three new tools as well as seven tools that were in the Data Management toolbox prior to the ArcGIS 10 release (Aggregate Polygons, Collapse Dual Lines To Centerline, Simplify Building, Simplify Line, Simplify Polygon, Smooth Line, Smooth Polygon).
  • Graphic Conflicts toolset: this toolset was named Graphic Quality toolset in previous releases.
  • Grids and Graticules toolset: this new toolset contain tools to create and maintain grid and graticule layers.

New tools




Annotation toolset

Contour Annotation

Creates annotation for contour features.

Map Server Cache Tiling Scheme To Polygons

Creates a new polygon feature class from an existing tiling scheme.

Tiled Labels To Annotation

Converts labels to annotation for layers in a map document based on a polygon index layer.

Data Driven Pages toolset (New)

Calculate Adjacent Fields

The most common use case for using this tool is to populate fields that can be used to label the adjacent pages in a map book. This tool appends eight new fields (each field representing one of the eight points of the compass: North, Northeast, East, Southeast, South, Southwest, West and Northwest) to the input feature class and calculates values that identify the adjacent (neighboring) polygons, in each cardinal direction, for each feature in the input feature class.

Calculate Central Meridian And Parallels

Calculates the central meridian and optional standard parallels based on the center point of a feature's extent; stores this coordinate system as a spatial reference string in a specified text field and repeats this for a set, or subset, of features.

Calculate Grid Convergence Angle

Calculates the rotation angle for true north based on the center point of each feature in a feature class and populates this value in a specified field. This field can be used in conjunction with Data Driven Pages to rotate each map to true north.

Calculate UTM Zone

Calculates a UTM zone of each feature based on the center point and stores this spatial reference string in a specified field. This field can be used in conjunction with Data Driven Pages to update the spatial reference to the correct UTM zone for each map.

Grid Index Features

Creates a grid of rectangular of polygon features that can be used as an index to specify pages for a map book using Data Driven Pages. A grid can be created that only includes polygon features that intersect another feature layer.

Strip Map Index Features

Creates a series of rectangular polygons, or index features, that follow a single linear feature or a group of linear features. These index features can be used with Data Driven Pages to define pages within a strip map, or set of maps that follow a linear feature. The resulting index features contain attributes that can be used to rotate and orient the map on the page and determine which index features, or pages, are next to the current page (to the left and right or to the top and bottom).

Generalization toolset

Aggregate Points

Creates polygon features around clusters of proximate point features.

Merge Divided Roads

Generates single line road features in place of matched pairs of divided road lanes.

Thin Road Network

Generates a simplified road network that retains connectivity and general character to display at a smaller scale.

Graphic Conflicts toolset

Propagate Displacement

Propagates the displacement resulting from road adjustment in the Resolve Road Conflicts and Merge Divided Roads tools to adjacent features.

Resolve Building Conflicts

Resolves symbol conflicts among buildings and with respect to linear barrier features by moving or hiding buildings.

Resolve Road Conflicts

Resolves graphic conflicts among symbolized road features by adjusting portions of line segments.

Grids and Graticules toolset (New)

Delete Grids and Graticules

Deletes all the features associated with one or more selected grid and graticule layers from a feature dataset.

Make Grids and Graticules Layer

Creates a grouped layer of feature classes depicting grid, graticule, and border features using predefined cartographic specifications. Grid layers are ideal for advanced grid definitions which are scale and extent specific.

Improved tools



Detect Graphic Conflict

Layers drawn with standard symbology can now be used as an inputs. Layers drawn with representations are still supported.

Simplify Building

The values of the BLD_STATUS field now indicate the following simplification results:

  • 1 = a single building has been simplified (no change from ArcGIS 9.3.1)
  • 2 = a single building has been simplified to its minimum bounding rectangle (new in ArcGIS 10)
  • 3 = a building smaller than the tolerance squared has been simplified to its minimum bounding rectangle (changed in ArcGIS 10)
  • 4 = [no longer used at ArcGIS 10]
  • 5 = a building that has not been simplified (no change from ArcGIS 9.3.1)

Conversion toolbox

Toolset changes

  • From KML toolset: this new toolset contains a tool to import data from Keyhole Markup Language (KML).
  • To Collada toolset: this new toolset contains a tool to export to the Collada format.

New tools




From KML toolset (New)

KML To Layer

Converts a KML or KMZ file into a feature class along with a layer file derived from the source renderer information inside the KML/KMZ.

From Raster toolset

Raster To Video

Creates a video file from a set of images.

Valid input image formats are Windows Bitmap and JPEG.

Metadata toolset

Export Metadata

Translates ArcGIS metadata to a standard metadata format and saves it as an XML file

Export Metadata Multiple

Exports metadata for many ArcGIS items.

Import Metadata

Imports metadata to an ArcGIS item, translating it to ArcGIS metadata if necessary

Synchronize Metadata

Updates values in the metadata to reflect the current properties of the ArcGIS item it describes

Upgrade Metadata

Upgrades metadata created before ArcGIS 10 to ArcGIS metadata

XML Schema Validation

Validates an XML file using an XML schema

Validate Metadata

Exports metadata for an ArcGIS item, then validates the exported XML file using an XML schema

Validate Metadata Multiple

Validates metadata for many ArcGIS items

To Collada toolset (New)

Multipatch To Collada

Converts one or more multipatch features into a collection of COLLADA files and referenced texture image files in an output folder. The inputs can be a layer or a feature class.

To Coverage toolset

Import from E00

Imports an ArcInfo interchange file (.e00). An interchange file is used to transport coverages, INFO tables, text files such as AML macros, and other ArcInfo files. For coverages, grids, and tins, it contains all information, including appropriate INFO table information. Interchange files are designated with the .e00 file suffix. This is the ArcView 3.x version of the utility for importing .e00 files.

To Geodatabase toolset

CAD To Geodatabase

Reads a CAD dataset and creates feature classes of the drawing. The feature classes are written to a geodatabase feature dataset.

Improved tools


Tool Name


Metadata toolset

ESRI Metadata Translator

Many improvements have been made in how ArcGIS metadata is transformed to and from the ISO 19139 XML format.

XSLT Transformation

An optional parameter was added to this tool that lets you pass a parameter value to the XSLT style sheet, which can then be used when transforming an XML file.

Data Management toolbox

Toolset changes

  • Graph toolset: this new toolset contains tools to create and save graphs.
  • Package toolset: this new toolset contains tools to package and consolidate layers and maps.
  • Raster toolset: new toolsets have been added inside the raster toolset. Many new tools can be found within those toolsets. Also existing tools that used to be in the Raster toolset have been moved down into the new toolsets. The new toolsets are Mosaic Dataset, Raster Catalog, Raster Dataset, Raster Processing and Raster Properties

Improved tools




Disconnected Editing toolset

Create Replica

A new parameter has been added to define the area to replicate based on geometry. Using this parameter, you can define boundary of the replica based on a non-rectangular shape such as a country or state border.

Another new parameter has been added to can be used where creating a 1 way replica. Another new parameter has been added to specify if archiving will be used instead of versions to determine the changes to send when synchronizing.

Feature Class toolset

Create Fishnet

A parameter has been added to control if the output will be polygon or polylines.

Features toolset

Feature Vertices To Points

The point type parameter has a new DANGLES option. This new option means only vertices at end of dangling line segments will be written to the output feature class.

Polygon To Line

A new parameter was added control if the output will have unique lines at coindicent boundaries and left-right neighborhood attributes OR if the output lines will simply be individual polygon feature's boundaries with all attributes.

Layers and Table Views toolset

Make XY Event Layer

A new parameter was added specify a Z field from the input table which will be assigned as Z coordinates to the output points.

Select Layer By Location

Two new spatial relationships have been added: INTERSECT_3D and WITHIN_A_DISTANCE_3D. Also the algorithm has been improved to process much larger data and complete these operations in shorter amount of time.

Save To Layer File

A new parameter has been added to control if the lyr file will store a relative path or absolute path to the source dataset.

Raster\Raster dataset toolset

Workspace To Raster Dataset

A new parameter has been added to convert the colormap to a RGB on the output dataset.

Raster\Raster Properties toolset

Add Colormap

Can now use a CLR (colormap) or ACT (Adobe color table) file to specify the colormap.

Workspace toolset

Create File GDB

A new parameter controls which version of geodatabase will be created, either the current or a geodatabase from a previous version such at 9.3 or 9.2.

Create Personal GDB

New tools




Database toolset

Register With Geodatabase

Registers feature classes, tables, and raster layers that were created outside of the geodatabase with the geodatabase in order for them to fully participate in geodatabase functionality.

Upgrade Geodatabase

Upgrades a geodatabase to the latest release to take advantage of new functionality available in the latest release of ArcGIS. Valid input is a personal or file geodatabase or an sde connection file or connection information for an ArcSDE geodatabase.

Features toolset

Bearing Distance To Line

This tool converts a table to two-point lines based on an x-coordinate field, y-coordinate field, bearing field, and distance field.


Splits extremely long lines or large polygons into smaller, more manageable features.

Minimum Bounding Geometry

Creates a the minimum rectangle, circle, convex hull that will cover the input feature (or group of input features).

Points To Line

Creates line features from points.

Split Line at Point

Splits line features based on intersection or proximity to point features.

Table To Ellipse

Converts a table containing coordinate and other required fields to elliptical polygons

Unsplit Line

Merges lines that have coincident endpoints and, optionally, common attribute values.

XY To Line

Creates a new feature class containing geodetic two-point polyline features from a table of start and end points.

Fields toolset

Calculate End Time

Calculates the end time of features based on the time values stored in another field.

Convert Time Field

Converts time values stored in a string or numeric field to a date field.

Convert Time Zone

Converts time values recorded in a date field from one time zone to another time zone.

Transpose Fields

Shifts data entered in fields or columns into rows in a table or feature class.

General toolset

Delete Identical

Deletes records in a feature class or table which have identical values in a list of fields. If the field 'Shape' is selected, feature geometries are compared.

Find Identical

Reports any records in a feature class or table that have identical values in a list of fields, and generates a table listing these identical records. If the field 'Shape' is selected, feature geometries are compared.


This tool reorders, in ascending or descending order, records in a feature class or table based on field values. The reordered result is copied to a new dataset.

Generalization toolset

Eliminate Polygon Part

Creates a new output feature class containing the features from the input polygons with some parts or holes of a specified size deleted.

Graph toolset (New)

Make Graph

Creates a graph as a visual output using a graph template or an existing graph.

Save Graph

Saves a graph to an image, vector, or graph file.

Layers and Table Views toolset

Make Mosaic Layer

Creates a temporary mosaic layer from an mosaic dataset or layer file. The layer that is created by the tool is temporary and will not persist after the session ends unless the layer is saved to disk or the map document is saved.

Package toolset (New)

Consolidate Layer

Consolidates one or more layers by copying all data and referenced data sources into a single folder.

Consolidate Map

Consolidates a map document and all referenced data sources to a specified output folder.

Extract Package

Extracts the contents of a layer or map package to a specified folder. The contents of the output folder is updated with the contents of the input package.

Package Layer

Packages one or more layers and all referenced data sources to create a single compressed .lpk file.

Package Map

Packages a map document and all referenced data sources to create a single compressed .mpk file.

Share Package

Shares a layer or map package by publishing to ArcGIS online.

Projections and Transformations toolset

Convert Coordinate Notation

Converts a table containing point coordinate fields to a point feature class. The input table's coordinate fields can be in a variety of notations, such as GARS, UTM, and MGRS. The output point feature class also contains point coordinate fields in a coordinate notation of your choosing.

Raster\Mosaic Dataset toolset (New)

Add Rasters to Mosaic Dataset

Adds raster datasets to a mosaic dataset from many sources, including a file, folder, raster catalog, table, or Web service.

Build Boundary

Generates the boundary polygon for a mosaic dataset. By default, the boundary merges all the footprint polygons to create a single boundary representing the extent of the valid pixels.

Build Footprints

Computes the footprints for each raster dataset in a mosaic dataset.

Build Overviews

Defines and generates overviews for a mosaic dataset.

Build Seamlines

Automatically generates seamlines for your mosaic dataset.

Calculate Cell Size Ranges

Computes the minimum and maximum cell sizes for the rasters in a mosaic dataset.

Color Balance Mosaic Dataset

Color balances a mosaic dataset so that the tiles appear seamless.

Compute Dirty Area

Identifies an area within a mosaic dataset that has changed since a specified point in time.

Create Mosaic Dataset

Makes an empty mosaic dataset in a geodatabase.

Create Referenced Mosaic Dataset

Creates a new mosaic dataset from an existing raster catalog, a selection set from a raster catalog, or a mosaic dataset.

Define Mosaic Dataset NoData

Allows you to specify one or more NoData values for a mosaic dataset.

Generate Exclude Area

Allows you to set the exclude area, based on color mask or histogram percentage. The output of this tool can then be used within the Color Balance Mosaic Dataset tool.

Import Mosaic Dataset Geometry

Modifies the feature geometry for footprints, the boundary, or seamlines in a mosaic dataset to match those in a polygon feature class.

Remove Rasters from Mosaic Dataset

Removes rasters from a mosaic dataset.

Synchronize Mosaic Dataset

Rebuilds the raster item and updates affected fields in the mosaic dataset using the raster type and options that were used when it was originally added.

Raster\Raster Processing toolset (New)

Raster To DTED

Splits a raster dataset into files based on the DTED tiling structure.

Split Raster

Creates a tiled output from an input raster dataset.

Raster\Raster Properties toolset (New)

Build Pyramids and Statistics

Traverses a folder structure, building pyramids and calculating statistics for all the raster datasets it contains. It can also build pyramids and calculate statistics for all the items in a raster catalog or mosaic dataset.

Versions toolset

Change Version

Changes the version that an input feature layer or table view is connected to. This tool only changes the version for the input layer or table view - other layers or table views are not affected. The tool has no effect on the version you are connected to if using feature classes or tables.

Workspace toolset

Create ArcSDE Connection File

Creates an ArcSDE connection file for use in connecting to ArcSDE geodatabases.

Editing toolbox (New)

This is a new toolbox contains 7 new geoprocessing tools to do bulk editing and data cleanup.

New tools




Inserts vertices along line or polygon features. Also replaces curve segments (bezier, circular arcs, elliptical arcs) with densified line segments.

Erase Point

Deletes points from the input that are either inside or outside the Remove Features, depending on the Operation Type.

Extend Line

This tool extends line segments to the first intersecting feature within a specified distance. If no intersecting feature is within the specified distance, the line segment will not be extended. Tool use is intended for quality control tasks such as cleaning up topology errors in features that were digitized without having set proper snapping environments.

Flip Line

Reverses the from-to direction of line features.


Simplifies the input features using the Douglas-Peucker simplification algorithm with a specified maximum offset tolerance. The output features will contain a subset of the original input vertices.


Moves points or vertices to coincide exactly with the vertices, edges, or end points of other features. Snapping rules can be specified to control whether the input vertices are snapped to the nearest vertex, edge, or endpoint within a specified distance.

Trim Line

Removes portions of a line that extend a specified distance past a line intersection (dangles). Any line that does not touch another line at both endpoints can be trimmed, but only the portion of the line that extends past the intersection by the specified distance will be removed.

Geocoding toolbox

New tools



Create Composite Address Locator

Creates a composite address locator. A composite address locator consists of two or more individual address locators that allow addresses to be matched against the multiple address locators.

Reverse Geocode

Creates addresses from point locations in a feature class. The reverse geocoding process searches for the nearest address or intersection for the point location based on the specified search distance.

Linear Referencing toolbox

Improved tool



Locate Features Along Routes

A new parameter has been added to specify wheather the offset distance should be based on the M direction or the digitized direction

Parcel Fabric toolbox (New)

New tools




Data Migration Toolset

Load Topology

Loads polygon and line features that participate in a topology into a target parcel fabric.

Layers and TableViews toolset

Make Parcel Fabric layer

Creates a parcel fabric layer from an input parcel fabric. The parcel fabric layer that is created by the tool is temporary and will not persist after the session ends unless the document is saved. This tool is needed if you would like a parcel fabric sublayer to participate in a geoprocessing model.

Make Parcel Fabric Table View

The Layers and Table Views toolset creates and manipulates parcel fabric layers, layer file, and table views.

Parcel Fabric Management toolset

Upgrade Parcel Fabric

Upgrades an existing parcel fabric to the latest released version of ArcGIS. An existing parcel fabric is upgraded to take advantage of the new parcel editing functionality available in the latest released version of ArcGIS.

Server toolbox

Improved tool




Caching toolset

Create Map Server Cache

A new parameter has been added to control if the tiles will be stored in compact or exploded storage format.

New Tools




Caching toolset

Convert Map Server Cache Storage Format

Converts the storage of a map service cache between the exploded (pre-10.0) format and the compact format. The tool converts the format "in place", meaning it does not make a copy of the existing format. Instead, it creates the new format cache in the same cache folder and deletes the old format.

Export Map Server Cache

Exports tiles from a map cache to a folder on disk. The tiles can either be imported into other caches or they can be accessed from ArcGIS Desktop as a raster dataset, independent from their parent service.

Import Map Server Cache

Imports tiles from a folder on disk into a map cache. The source folder can be a child of a registered server cache directory or it can be some other folder into which tiles have been previously exported. The target map service must have the same tiling scheme and the storage format as the source map cache.

Data Extraction toolset

Extract Data

Extracts selected layers in the specified area of interest to a specific format and spatial reference. The extracted data is then written to a zip file.

Extract Data and Email Task

Extracts the data in the specified layers and area of interest to the selected format and spatial reference, zips the data, and emails it to the specified address. This tool can be used to create a Data Extraction geoprocessing service.

Extract Data Task

Extracts the selected layers in the specified area of interest to the selected formats and spatial reference, then returns all the data in a zip file.

Send Email with Zip File Attachment

Emails a file to an email address using an SMTP email server.

Spatial Statistics toolbox

Improved tools




Analyzing Patterns toolset

Average Nearest Neighbor

The derived output variables now include both the observed and expected average nearest neighbor distances: NNExpected and NNObserved.

Multi Distance Spatial Cluster Analysis

The optional graphic display has been created as a line graph file giving users full control to change graph settings. This graph file is temporary until saved by right-clicking on the graph and selecting the Save option.

Average Nearest Neighbor

The Display Results Graphically parameter has been changed to Generate Report to reflect the new HTML format for graphical output. The HTML file does not automatically display. Double-click on the HTML entry in the Results window, to open the HTML file in the default Internet browser. Right-click on the Messages entry in the Results window and select View to display the results in a Message dialog box. These changes make it easier to incorporate analysis results into reports.

High Low Clustering

Spatial Autocorrelation

Modeling Spatial Relationships toolset


Summary reports and diagnostics are written to the Results window. Right-click on the Messages entry and select View to display the results in a Message dialog box. Results can also be copied and pasted into other text documents.


Utilities toolset


Tool results are written to the Results window. Right-click on the Messages entry and select View to display the results in a Message dialog box.

New tools




Measuring Geographic Distributions toolset

Median Center

Identifies the location that minimizes overall Euclidean distance to the features in a dataset.

Related Topics