Mexican Spotted Owl, stretching...

Polar Plots for ArcGIS

Last Modified June 23, 2014:   Revision 1.0.253

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On-Line Manuals
(requires Adobe Acrobat Reader)
 Polar Plots for ArcGIS 9.x  (18.6 MB)

Polar Plots for ArcGIS 10.0  (18.7 MB)

Manual in Letter (8.5 x 11) page size

Manual in A4 page size


Topics: Polar plot, Rose plot, Circular Statistics, Angular Deviation, Angular Variance, Mean Resultant Length, Circular Standard Deviation, Circular Variance

Author:  Jeff Jenness

Wildlife Biologist, GIS Analyst

Jenness Enterprises

3020 N. Schevene Blvd.

Flagstaff, AZ, 86004   USA

(928) 607-4638 

Description:  This extension includes two tools. Both tools are available at the ArcView (aka ArcGIS Basic) license level.

bulletThe Shapes to Segments tool converts polygon or polyline features into polyline features of individual vertex-to-vertex segments, with options on various geometric attributes to calculate (starting and ending coordinates, length, azimuth).
bulletThe Polar Plots tool creates a graphic in the MXD layout illustrating the distribution of direction values in a feature class (such as those generated in the Shapes to Segments tool) or table.
bulletThe Polar Plots tool also has an option to calculate basic circular descriptive statistics on data.


bulletLayout Graphic of a circular plot.
bulletCircular descriptive statistics.
bulletA polyline feature class of vertex-to-vertex segments from an original polyline or polygon feature class.


bullet Version 1.0.225:  July 6, 2012
bullet Initial Release
bulletVersion 1.0.237:  September 12, 2012
bulletFixed an error in which it would not work with non-Polyline feature classes, instead giving you a message stating that the specified feature class was not a polyline feature class.
bulletAlso updated the Calculate Statistics function so it would tell you how many features or rows it analyzed.
bulletVersion 1.0.250: September 20, 2013
bulletAdded Von Mises Kappa measure of concentration to statistics.
bulletModified analysis count (in plot and in statistics report) to show correct number if any records were excluded from the analysis (negative values, null features, missing azimuth or weight values, etc.).
bulletA few cosmetic changes.
bulletFixed an error that produced the message “Invalid procedure call or argument” at line 1328 of frmLayerID.frm when the “Add Reverse Azimuths” button was clicked when no data sources were available in the map.
bulletVersion 1.0.253 (June 23, 2014):
bulletModified “Features to Segments” tool to clear up a mysterious bug that caused ArcGIS to shut down completely in some cases. Also modified tool to run faster in general, and especially with two-vertex polylines.

Recommended Citation Format: For those who wish to cite this extension, the author recommends something similar to:

Jenness, J. 2014. Polar plots for ArcGIS. Jenness Enterprises. Available at:

Please let me know if you cite this extension in a publication. I will update the citation list to include any publications that I am told about.

Requires:  ArcView 9.x or ArcView 10 (will also work at ArcEditor and ArcInfo license levels).

For detailed installation and operations instructions, view the on-line PDF version of the Manual.         

Enjoy! Please contact the author if you have problems or find bugs.

            Jeff Jenness                            

            Jenness Enterprises                

            3020 N. Schevene Blvd.                     (928) 607-4638

            Flagstaff, AZ  86004


Please visit Jenness Enterprises ArcGIS Tools site for more ArcGIS tools and other software by the author. We also offer GIS consultation services for both ArcGIS and ArcView 3.x to help you meet your specific data analysis and application development needs.