create layer from selected features in multiple layers / all featureclasses

02-17-2011 05:19 PM
Status: Open
Labels (1)
New Contributor III
Expand on the functionality of Create Layer from Selected Features, to create layer from the current selection in the document - which potentially could be from a number of sources. 

The resultant layer might be similar to a group layer - containing the selection layer for each of the input layers.

Example of application, I need to find beaches in the statewide cadastral database.  They are represented across several featureclasses, and i want to find them all without manually going through a 100 FCs.  So I find on "beach", easy ... I can then select all of the found features, but I still have to manually identify each FC involved.  I want to be able to create a layer file from these selected features !  That way i can map them and use in select by location etc.

Simple functionality, with loads of other uses 😃

Work with multiple layers is a real problem in ArcMap's TOC. Missing also:
  • Export Data from multiple layers selected at once
  • Change/Replace source workspace of selected layers
  • Show the source destination of selected layers in ArcCatalog
  • Control Labelling and other multiple layers' properties (described in TOC Toolbar)

I know this post is ancient, but I’ll pose these questions to anyone else who might be trying something similar:

Do the layers all have the same geometry type? Point, line, or polygon?

Could you select all the layers in the Contents pane and drag them into a geoprocessing tool that would merge them all together in a outputted FC? I don’t know what GP tool you would use. But I guess it would need to discard all attributes except for the shape, so that the layers could be merged.

Or, a separate idea:
If you were to do it with Python, would it look something like this?

  1. Loop through all layers in the map.
  2. For each layer that has a selection, use Create Layer from Selected Features to create a feature layer using the selected features.
  3. Symbolize all layers using the same symbol.
  4. Put the layers in a group layer.