v.build.polylines.1grass man page

v.build.polylines — Builds polylines from lines or boundaries.


vector, topology, geometry, line, node, vertex


v.build.polylines --help
v.build.polylines input=name output=name  [cats=string]   [type=string[,string,...]]   [--overwrite]  [--help]  [--verbose]  [--quiet]  [--ui]



Allow output files to overwrite existing files


Print usage summary


Verbose module output


Quiet module output


Force launching GUI dialog


input=name [required]

Name of input vector map
Or data source for direct OGR access

output=name [required]

Name for output vector map


Category number mode
Options: no, first, multi
Default: no
no: Do not assign any category number to polyline
first: Assign category number of first line to polyline
multi: Assign multiple category numbers to polyline


Input feature type
Options: line, boundary
Default: line,boundary


v.build.polylines builds polylines from the lines or boundaries in a vector map.

A line is defined by one start node, one end node and any number of vertices between the start and end node. The shortest possible line consists of only two vertices where the coordinates of the start and end node are identical to those of the two vertices.

v.build.polyline picks a line and from its start node, walks back as long as exactly one other line of the same type is connected to this node. Line directions are reversed as required, i.e. it does not matter if the next line is connected to the current node by its start or end node. Once the start line of a polyline is identified, it walks forward and adds all vertices (in reverse order if needed) of connected lines to the start line, i.e. the start line and connecting lines are reversed as needed. That is, if a line is reversed depends on what node is initially picked for building polylines. If the direction of lines is important (it’s not for boundaries to build areas), you have to manually change line directions with either v.edit or the wxGUI vector digitizer.

Polylines provide the most appropriate representation of curved lines when it is important that nodes serve to define topology rather than geometry. Curved lines are usually digitized as polylines, but these are sometimes broken into their constituent straight line segments during conversion from one data format to another. v.build.polylines can be used to rebuild such broken polylines.


v.build.polylines combines only lines of the same type to a new polyline, i.e. lines and boundaries are kept separate.

Category number(s) are assigned to a polyline based on cats parameter.

  • cats=no - No category number is assigned to a polyline. Also attributes tables linked to the input vector map are not copied to the output vector map.
  • cats=first - Assign to a polyline category number of the first line. All linked attributes tables are copied to the output vector map without filtering, but the categories are processed according to the cats option.
  • cats=multi - If the lines that make up a polyline have different category numbers then v.build.polylines will set the multiple category numbers to a polyline.  Also all linked attributes tables are copied to the output vector map.

v.build.polylines correctly handles input vector maps containing lines, boundaries, centroids and points. Lines and boundaries will be converted to polylines.  Areas are guaranteed to be preserved.


This program was originally written during Mark Lake’s tenure of a Leverhulme Special Research Fellowship at University College London.

See Also

v.build, v.in.ascii, v.edit, v.split


Mark Lake, Institute of Archaeology, University College London.
Major rewrite by Radim Blazek, October 2002
Category mode added by Martin Landa, FBK-irst, Trento, Italy, October 2007
Support for categories, attributes, and different line types by Markus Metz

Last changed: $Date: 2014-12-27 22:28:54 +0100 (Sat, 27 Dec 2014) $

Main index | Vector index | Topics index | Keywords index | Full index

© 2003-2016 GRASS Development Team, GRASS GIS 7.0.4 Reference Manual


GRASS 7.0.4 Grass User's Manual