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Help with Tabulate Area (Spatial Analyst) tool

Question asked by mringel on Jul 29, 2014
Latest reply on Jul 29, 2014 by mringel

I have a shape file of census tracts which I've created buffers around.  Thus the buffered tracts now overlap.  I also have another polygon shape file showing all the parks in the county, with a field showing whether they're maintained by the city, county, or other level of organization.  What I would like to do is add up all the park area in each buffered tract.  I'm expecting that some parks will get counted in more than one tract, since the buffers overlap.  The Tabulate Area tool looks like it would do exactly what I want, but it doesn't seem to work as expected.  When I run it I end up with some tracts showing zero park area even though there is clearly park within the polygon.  If I then select one of those tracts showing zero park area but with parks clearly inside it and run the Tabulate Area tool with the exact same settings, it works as expected and shows me the total sum of the area of parks within that polygon (tract).  I suspect that the tool will only count the area being tabulated once, so if it gets counted in a neighboring tract, it doesn't get counted again even though the park may fall in more then one buffered tract. 



Is there a different tool that does what I want?  Or maybe a different method that would get the result I want?  Thanks!