I have 2 feature classes 1 is a parcel data layer the other is a towns layer. I would like to select parcels that are in a specific town or towns. Is there an easy way to do this? Thanks
You could make a selection on your towns layer for the town(s) you want selected, then make a feature layer from selected feature and use it as the selecting layer for a select by location(intersection, assuming towns is polygon).
Another option is doing a definition query on your towns layer to get only the town(s) you need, and again select by location(intersection, assuming towns is polygon)
I agree with Ian, use the selection tool on the standard tool bar to select the town that you are interested in, then go to the selection menu, and choose select by location . In the Select by Location dialogue box select the parcels layer in the Target layer(s) box, then in the Source layer box choose the towns layer and check the box that says to use selected features. Last insure that the intersect option or maybe the centroid is contained option is chosen in the Spatial Selection method for target layer feature(s). Either one of these methods should give you everything or close to everything contained in the town.
Once you start in on the Select by Location process, as Chad and Ian described, you have to deal with the quality and character of the data to get the answer you really want. In my experience, it's rare to have parcel data perfectly registered to jurisdiction polygons (like towns). Also, it's possible for the city limits to split parcels. So you have to decide what you want: Only those parcels totally within the town boundary, Any parcels even partially included, or, as I usually do, those whose centroid is within the boundary, indicating that it it "mostly" inside.
A visual check of the results will help you decide which is the most appropriate selection choice for your situation.
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