Erase tool doesn't erase all inputs

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01-12-2018 10:26 AM
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New Contributor III

When I execute the Erase Tool in ArcGIS it does not erase all of the features in the input class. The Input and Erase features are both polygons. I have attempted multiple times, hoping it was just a fluke.

Here is what I have tried so far:

1) I have selected out the specific features from the input that aren't being erased and attempted to run the Erase with those, but the output shapefile ends up being completely empty.

2) Using the Clip tool instead. The effects are the same.

3) Made sure when I run the Erase that no random features are accidentally selected.

4) Repair Geometry of input.

5) Rebuild Spatial Index of input.

Does anyone have experience about how to fix this problem?

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New Contributor III

Hey Dan_Patterson‌ so I found out what the problem was. I needed to change the Processing Extent within the Environments to "Union of Inputs." I thought you may be interested in the solution. Thank you so much for your help though!

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MVP Esteemed Contributor

Erase—Help | ArcGIS Desktop     

Erase illustration
Erase just erases what is under the erase feature.
Perhaps you could show your situation.
You should also check that you aren't working with multipart features as well, 
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New Contributor III

By input, I mean Erase Feature. Sorry for the confusion. I have Dissolved my erase feature and made sure the output of that is not as a multi-part feature. Here is a visual of what is going on:

These are the two feature classes (shapefiles) that are being put into the Erase Tool.

These are the 2 shapefile feature classes that I am inputting into the Erase Tool.

Here is what I am running on the tool:

Here is the output:

If you look at the bottom of the polygon, that is where I am having problems.

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MVP Esteemed Contributor

Run Repair Geometry and Multipart to singlepart on the dissolved files prior to running erase.  I never trust anything.

Also... try featureclasses in a geodatabase to boot.

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New Contributor III

Thanks for the response! I have already run the Repair Geometry and it didn't fix the problem... When running the Multipart to Singlepart Tool, the output did not contain the 3 polygons that aren't working correctly in the Erase Tool. I'm thinking there has to be a correlation between these two outcomes.

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MVP Esteemed Contributor

As I suspected.  By chance is that file with the missing fiddly bits part of a larger file?  There is something amiss with the geometry and I am surprised that repair geometry didn't stumble onto it

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New Contributor III

So here is what I have done to get the Cities data I am currently using:

State_Cities > Select by Location (within county) > Export Data > Cities_frank

So yes, the data was originally part of a larger data set, but I created a completely new shapefile from the cities that reside in the county that I am currently studying. What are you thinking is the problem in that case?

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New Contributor III

Hey Dan_Patterson‌ so I found out what the problem was. I needed to change the Processing Extent within the Environments to "Union of Inputs." I thought you may be interested in the solution. Thank you so much for your help though!

View solution in original post

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MVP Esteemed Contributor

Well.. that would certainly do it ... the bits were completely missing

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