Getting rid of the buffer once it's served its purpose - extract input only

Discussion created by jh1021 on Apr 26, 2013
Latest reply on Apr 29, 2013 by jskinner-esristaff
There may be a totally obvious solution to this, but I've been working on this project for so long that my brain is going in circles at this point.  (Also, this is my second GIS class, so sometimes I just don't really know what I'm doing.)  Please help!

(I'm working on NYC PLUTO data)  I created a 1/2-mile buffer (undissolved) around vacant lots, which were then overlaid with low-income hotspots.  Using select by location, I extracted just the lots whose buffers intersected the hotspots.  I exported this as a new shapefile - I'm only interested in these vacant lots.

Essentially, my question is, how do I get rid of the buffers that I'd placed around the lots?  The buffers served their purpose in isolating and narrowing down the vacant lots, but I only want to see the lots now to continue with my suitability analysis.  What I've tried is select by location, with my target layer set as the vacant lots, and source set as the new buffer layer.  I chose the centroid spatial method, thinking that only those lots which created the buffers would be selected (assuming that the central point of a buffer would be the originating lot).  It didn't work though.  I was expecting to see the same number of attributes in the selection as in the buffer's attribute table, but the centroid selection ended up adding about 300 or so more lots.  Looking at the selected lots on the map, some of them also fell along the edges of buffer clusters (clearly, these were not central points of the buffers I'd isolated). 

I'm not sure how else to go about this.  It seems like it should be obvious and simple, since all the attribute information has been retained in the buffer layer.  Am I just not seeing it?  This is part of a process of getting rid of data since PLUTO is huge and has been slowing me down (so I'm kind of working backwards, and stripping down data to reinsert).

Thanks in advance for any solutions!