Polygons in Shapefile not Appearing In Desktop, but exist???

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02-03-2015 09:15 AM
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Occasional Contributor

I've encountered an odd error with ArcGIS Desktop 10.2.  I have a shapefile (parcel data) with multiple polygons.  When I am viewing the parcels at a smaller scale, I can see all the polygons in desktop.  When viewing the polygons at a larger scale, some of them disappear. 

 

They are symbolized the same, and I do not have the symbology set to appear differently at different scales.  The settings are basically set to default settings.  I can see the polygon exists in the attribute table, and can select the polygon in the attribute table, but can not select it in the map view.

 

I've solved the problem by exporting another shapefile, and now everything is working normally, where I can view them at all scales, and can select them in the map view.  I am just wondering if anyone has ever experienced such an issue where you would have "phantom" polygons

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6 Replies
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MVP Regular Contributor

I wonder if the file was corrupted.

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MVP Frequent Contributor

One reason I've seen this occur is if the computer has essentially run out of memory (though it seems to be running normally).  For example, if it has been on for several hours while several programs were open.  Rebooting the computer resolves it.

Chris Donohue, GISP

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MVP Esteemed Contributor

Run a repair geometry on the original file...exporting to a new file, may have fixed the problem.  Also ensure that any nodata polygons have some type of recognizable symbol/colour set otherwise they will be invisible

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Esri Notable Contributor

Another thing to try on the original shapefile is to delete an existing spatial index and create a new spatial index. If there's been a lot of editing, the spatial index can get outdated. Features disappearing and appearing at different map scales is a classic symptom.

Melita

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Occasional Contributor

I've tried the repair geometry, and that did not work.  Might try restarting next time.  Though Melita's post makes sense, there were numerous edits involved.  If I run into it again, I will try that. 

Thanks for the posts.

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MVP Frequent Contributor

If you totally get stuck and can't get it repaired, if you have Windows you might be able able to recover the original shapefile by restoring a previous version.

To recover a previous version in Windows:

Browse to the file while in Windows

Right-click on the file and select Properties

Click on the Previous Versions tab

Select the version you want and hit Restore

Caveats;

Back up your data first, as you can't undo a restore.

You will need to restore all the components of a shapefile.  At minimum, this will mean 3 files:  filename.dbf, filename.shx, filename.shp.  However, there can be several more.

Shapefile - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A more inclusive way to do this is to instead restore the whole folder the shapefile is sitting in.  However, this will impact any other files and/or folders that come off that folder, so back up the data first.

Chris Donohue, GISP

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