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Selecting non-overlapping objects within single polygon layer

Question asked by kazachoo on Jun 11, 2014
Latest reply on Jun 12, 2014 by kazachoo
I have a polygon layer of regularly spaced, overlapping buffers, created by buffering points 400m apart, with buffers of a 400m radius. But now I need to split this into separate polygon layers in which the buffers do not overlap, in order to use zonal statistics with raster layers (if the polygons overlap the zonal statistics doesn't work properly). By manually selecting the first few buffers I have found that four layers would suffice to contain all the buffers with no overlaps within each of the four new layers.

My problem is how to select the buffers that I want to export to new layers. I don't have a regular number of polygons on the x or y axis and I tried generating a point layer to use select by location but I couldn't get the right spacing, it was very fiddly.

I have attached an image with the four separate layers on top (which I extracted manually) and the overlapping polygon layer (which I extracted them from) on the bottom. I can't do all the extractions manually as I have 800,000 polygons!

Any suggestions? I don't know python but this could be programmed I'm sure with a python script. I just don't have the first clue!

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