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Intersecting large numbers of polygons - best methodology required

Question asked by treemanforest on Apr 1, 2014
Latest reply on Apr 2, 2014 by geonetadmin
I need to do some intersections of a large number of 5km poylgon grids (4,000) with a polygon dataset of woodlands (95,000). See example.


What I want is a list of each 5km grid with the intersecting woodland polygons. I don't want to recreate geometry, I just want a list of which polygons appear in which grids. Some polygons overlap multiple grids, in which case they will appear twice in the list - that's OK.

The results might look something like this:


Here you can see that woodland polygon B touches grids 1 and 2. Also, we have a record for every instance where a grid touches a woodland polygon.

I already solved this problem in Alteryx, which if you haven't heard of it is a data and spatial processing tool that outperforms ArcGIS in ways that are difficult to describe. The task took 90 secs in Alteryx, which is 64 bit and multi-threaded. The number of records returned is 107,000 just to give you an idea. I've attached a screenshot to show how simple the procedure is in Alteryx.

How can I recreate the analysis in ArcGIS? It looks like a fairly standard spatial task, but I'm unsure of which overlay tools will get me the results I need without having to wait around too long while ArcGIS chugs away.

Thank you