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Find Centroids

Find Centroids The Find Centroids tool will create point features that represent the geometric center (centroid) for multipoint, line, and area features.

Workflow diagram

Find Centroids workflow diagram


An analyst at the Scotland Department of Environment is performing a preliminary review on wind farm applications to determine which ones overlap with or are in view of wild lands. To create the viewshed for each wild land area, the analyst must first create point features to represent each wild land. The Find Centroids tool can be used to create centroids within each wild land area.

See the Environmental assessment case study for the complete workflow.

A city is planning to create a new park that will serve as a green space for several neighborhoods. The analyst wants to use the Choose Best Facilities tool to find the best sites to ensure the greatest number of the city's residents live within a 5-minute walk of the park. However, the feature layer the analyst has of available land parcels contains areas and Choose Best Facilities requires point inputs. The Find Centroids tool can be used to generate central points for each area so that they can be used as an input for Choose Best Facilities.

Usage notes

A single input of multipoint, line, or area features is required. Centroids will be calculated for each multipoint, line, or area feature.

By default, Find Centroids will calculate the representative center or centroid of each feature. Selecting the option contained by input features in the Show me output locations parameter will result in output points nearest to the actual centroid but located inside or contained by the bounds of the input feature.

If Use current map extent is checked, only the features in the input multipoint, line, or area layer visible within the current map extent will be analyzed. If unchecked, all features in the input layer will be analyzed, even if they are outside the current map extent.

Click Show Credits before you run your analysis to check how many credits will be consumed.


Simple point features cannot be used to create centroids.

Similar tools

Use Find Centroids to find the representative center of multipoint, line, or area features. Other tools may be useful in solving similar but slightly different problems.

Map Viewer analysis tools

If you are trying to join your point, line, or area features to point features, use the Join Features tool.

ArcGIS Desktop analysis tools

Find Centroids performs the function of the Feature to Point tool.