Find empty polygons

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04-04-2019 03:52 AM
SimonCrutchley
Occasional Contributor II

Is there a simple way to find those polygons on one layer that do not have any polygons from a selection of other layers within them? I can find any that don't have one layer, by using select by location (completely contains) and switching the selection, but this only works for one layer at a time and then selects all the others, including those that contain another layer. What I want is to find a way that finds any polygons that contain neither of the other two layers.

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Egge-JanPollé1
MVP Regular Contributor

If you want to do it manually in ArcGIS, a possible solution would be to add a (temporary) column to your data set with the name - let's say - OVERLAP and a default value of 0. Then you query against the first layer (with select by location) and you update the OVERLAP column in the selection with the value 1. Then you repeat this step for the second layer, again using the value 1 to be put in OVERLAP. And again for any further layers.

At the end of this process you will be able to filter those polygons with OVERLAP still containing 0, i.e. those polygons that do not overlap with any of the other polygons.

What do you think of this suggestion?

Egge-Jan

P.S. Didn't see Dan's answer yet while I was writing mine.

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DanPatterson_Retired
MVP Esteemed Contributor

The default selection type is 'new selection'. You have used 'switch selection' but have you tried 'add to selection' or remove from selection to try and fine-tune the query?

Select Layer By Location—Data Management toolbox | ArcGIS Desktop 

Egge-JanPollé1
MVP Regular Contributor

If you want to do it manually in ArcGIS, a possible solution would be to add a (temporary) column to your data set with the name - let's say - OVERLAP and a default value of 0. Then you query against the first layer (with select by location) and you update the OVERLAP column in the selection with the value 1. Then you repeat this step for the second layer, again using the value 1 to be put in OVERLAP. And again for any further layers.

At the end of this process you will be able to filter those polygons with OVERLAP still containing 0, i.e. those polygons that do not overlap with any of the other polygons.

What do you think of this suggestion?

Egge-Jan

P.S. Didn't see Dan's answer yet while I was writing mine.

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SimonCrutchley
Occasional Contributor II

Hi guys,

Thanks for those. I tried various permutations of switching, adding and removing, but I guess I can't quite get the Boolean logic right. I'm sure there is a way; I just haven't found it

However, I tried the "add a field" option and that works like a charm

Thanks