Easily clip an entire workspace for a specific study area

Blog Post created by timothy_hales-esristaff Employee on May 31, 2011
Imagine you're the GIS Data Manager for New York City and receive a request for data from a consultant for Central Park. The data request included roads, streams, soils, buildings and other feature classes that are stored in the master geodatabase for the city. Instead of providing the entire geodatabase, you clip the data down to just the park boundary.

In order to clip the data, you have the options to clip the features individually or set up a batch clip. However, there's a more efficient way. With the iterator functionality available in ArcGIS 10, a simple model using the Iterate Feature Class iterator and the Clip tool can provide an efficient way to extract the subset of data.

Within ModelBuilder add the Iterate Feature iterator (Insert Menu > Iterators > Feature Classes) and the Clip tool.  Connect the iterator output feature class as the input to the Clip tool.

Below are the parameters that can be specified for each of the components.
    • Iterate Feature Classes
      • Workspace or Feature Dataset
      • Wildcard
      • Feature Type
      • Recursive
    • Clip
      • Input Features
      • Clip Features
      • Output Feature Class
    • XY Tolerance

For the clip output feature class, you can use a variable based upon the name being generated from the iterator.   An example of this can be seen in the interface below with the percent symbols.Examples of inline model variable substitution

Based upon the variable for the output feature class name, the output of the model keeps the original name with ‘_clip' added on.

After setting up the model and defining the desired parameters, this process can be accessed from your toolbox to easily clip a workspace or feature dataset for any project requiring you to work with only a subset of you master data.

The above model example can be downloaded from the ArcGIS Geoprocessing Model and Script Tool Gallery: Clip Workspace.Timothy H., Support Analyst - Geodata Raster Group, Esri Support Services