How do I cut a large polygon into hundreds of multiple, smaller polygons based on the shape of a grid?

07-24-2017 10:29 AM
New Contributor

I have thousands of polygons I would like to merge together over an area in the shape of a rectangle (like a puzzle, but with some pieces having a depth of 40 on top of eachother). I then want to cut this merged (or dissolved) polygon based on a grid of squares I have created (like a cookie cutter). I have the grid in both lines and polygons if that makes a difference.

Do i need to merge all of the polygons (puzzle pieces) first, and then try to cut them via a tool based on the grid? Or, can I place the grid on top of all of the polygons (pre merge) and do a spatial dissolve based on the squares in the grid?

There are close to 100,000 pieces in the original puzzle, so a merge isn't as easy as Select All, Merge, and I will have to do this more than once in the future.

If I can clear this up or paint a better picture, please let me know where the confusion lies.

Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.

I am using ArcInfo 10.4

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2 Replies
MVP Emeritus

I move this from GeoNet Help (which is about getting help on how to use GeoNet) where it could have languished unnoticed forever.

Now, to your problem.

  • how many files are involved?
  • have you tried a union for some of the data?  Is it real messy?
  • do you just want to summarize on your 'grid' basis, or is retaining the original pieces important?
  • can you simplify the attributes you want to retain, or are all needed.
  • what have you tried so far?

Any details and images of the state of the data would help.

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Occasional Contributor III

If you have advanced license , you can use Split—Help | ArcGIS Desktop  tool.

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