What is feature builder?

Feature builder allows you to create complex geodetic and ellipsoid features that are associated with aeronautical and nautical data. This tool consists of several parts that, when combined, allow you to create and modify features that represent complex items found on nautical and aeronautical charts:

Feature creation workflow

Feature builder allows you to create aeronautical and nautical features based on bearing, parameter, and other descriptive information from the data specification you are using. This process involves three major steps:

Creating the geometry using a function

The descriptive information for the features can be used to populate parameters in functions that correspond with the geometry you want to create or value you want to calculate. When you initially create a feature using feature builder, it is a geometry that is stored in a scratch database. This database contains point, line, and polygon feature classes, as well as a grouped layer that contains topology features. The geometries you create in the scratch database also have their own attributes to track changes made as well as the name, label, and height and area values.


If the function is executed in an edit session, the feature will be created in the target layer.

Learn more about the scratch database

Modifying the geometry

Changes that can be made to feature builder geometries include connecting points to create lines or polygons, converting polylines to polygons, and merging polygons. These editing functions allow you to refine the appearance of the geometry before you convert it to a feature in your editing workspace.

View the Production Feature Builder toolbar

Converting the geometry to a feature

Once the geometry is ready to be added to the production database or other editing workspace, you can convert it to a feature in one of the feature classes in your editing workspace. This process does not delete the geometry from the scratch database but adds a new feature to the target feature class. When the geometry is converted, it is given the default attributes for the target feature class subtype you select. For example, if you convert a feature builder line geometry to an ATS route, which is an aeronautical polyline feature, a new ATS route is created in addition to the feature builder feature.

Learn more about feature conversion tools