How to truly persist a selection layer and make it truly independent of its source

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12-23-2020 08:40 PM
LaurieKurilla1
New Contributor III

I frequently select a subset of rows from a feature.  I then "save selection as a layer".  Then I perform any number of operations on this new layer.  An example of the subsequent operations are "project", "feature to raster" and "reclassify", but there are many more.  The problem is the result of these operations is the entire source feature, not just the selection layer upon which it was applied.  

 

example:  I select Acrisols from my "Asia_soil" feature .  I save the selection as "Asia_soil_acrisols".  I then run "project" or "reclassify" on "Asia_soil_acrisols" creating a new output such as "Asia_acrisols_project" or "Asia_acrisols_reclassify".   The problem is that these resultant files are ALL soils (from the original "Asia_soil" feature, NOT the selection layer.  So I have to now do a select on this resultant feature to get just the Acrisols again.  When working on such large datasets as continents, this is very time consuming.

There are many other instances where I have found the selection layer is not truly an independent and persisting object.

Is there a way to perform a selection getting a feature subset and having that subset persist as created and independent of its source.

Thank you

Laurie

3 Solutions

Accepted Solutions
Mary_Murphy
Esri Contributor

Once you have carried out the selection, you can export the selected feature to a new layer.

How: carry out your selection process > in the contents pane [or, on ArcMap: the table of contents], right click on that layer's name > Dara > Export [features]

 

You can also continue as you have done previously i.e. create the temporary layer > then export that layer as a new, independent, permanent layer.

How: similar to the previous method, simply right click the new layer > Data etc.

You could put together a quick model / tool that carries out the desired selection and creates the new permanent layer, all in one!

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JoshuaBixby
MVP Esteemed Contributor

It isn't about a layer at all, it is about the tools.  Some tools work on data sets, some on features, etc....  A tool that operates on a data set as a whole won't care whether you pass a layer with a selection or not because it identifies the data set behind the layer and executes against that and not a selection from the layer.

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JoshuaBixby
MVP Esteemed Contributor

@LaurieKurilla1, I unmarked your two comments as solutions since they weren't really providing a solution to your question, they were more acknowledging comments from others.  I left Mary's comment marked as a solution.

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7 Replies
Mary_Murphy
Esri Contributor

Once you have carried out the selection, you can export the selected feature to a new layer.

How: carry out your selection process > in the contents pane [or, on ArcMap: the table of contents], right click on that layer's name > Dara > Export [features]

 

You can also continue as you have done previously i.e. create the temporary layer > then export that layer as a new, independent, permanent layer.

How: similar to the previous method, simply right click the new layer > Data etc.

You could put together a quick model / tool that carries out the desired selection and creates the new permanent layer, all in one!

View solution in original post

LaurieKurilla1
New Contributor III

Thank you for your response!! That is what I will do from now on.  I wish I didn't have to perform yet another two steps (export and then import back in).  I hope in the future there will be a one-step process for creating a new/independent object from the 'make layer from selection'.  

LaurieKurilla1
New Contributor III

Mary,  I just performed the Export and am glad to see that it adds it right back to my current .gdb and Map display... yippee 🙂       So at least it is only one extra step now.

Cheers

Laurie

JoshuaBixby
MVP Esteemed Contributor

I am not sure which "reclassify" you are talking about so I can't address that tool, but the Project tool works on data sets, not features.  So, if you pass a layer the tool will grab the data set behind the tool.  Since the layer you created (I am assuming you are using "Make Layer from Selected Features") still references the original, complete data set, that is what gets projected.  Feature to Raster (Conversion) does work on features so it should work on the selection in your new layer only.

LaurieKurilla1
New Contributor III

Thanks much for this information.  It's good to know this.  It certainly seemed to be the case, but just didn't make sense to me that a layer created from a selection doesn't really act as a new/independent object.  

JoshuaBixby
MVP Esteemed Contributor

It isn't about a layer at all, it is about the tools.  Some tools work on data sets, some on features, etc....  A tool that operates on a data set as a whole won't care whether you pass a layer with a selection or not because it identifies the data set behind the layer and executes against that and not a selection from the layer.

View solution in original post

JoshuaBixby
MVP Esteemed Contributor

@LaurieKurilla1, I unmarked your two comments as solutions since they weren't really providing a solution to your question, they were more acknowledging comments from others.  I left Mary's comment marked as a solution.

View solution in original post