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Spatial definition query

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  • I would like to be able to apply a spatial definition query to a layer.

    I.e. Select features from this pointlayer that are within a feature from buildingpolygons.

    Defining a query must be as easy as it can be done in the Select By Location dialog.

    The result of the query is updated when features that are involved are modified.

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    Posted by   hzwols  to ArcGIS Desktop Apr 26, 2010

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Comments (13)

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Feb 3, 2015
I would love to be able to use this for editing, for example finding all points that aren't connected to lines, and having the selection refresh after edits.

Nov 10, 2014
You can't publish services with the "Clip to Shape" function turned on.  The work around doesn't even work for everything.  AutoCAD has had this for a few years now, maybe more.

Sep 8, 2014
I would really love to be able to use this functionality in SearchCursors to minimize the number of features I need to loop through.

Jul 14, 2014
Please esri.

Apr 30, 2014
This function would be good as it could be called with ArcPy. Therefore avoiding the 9 click ArcGIS Desktop dataframe properties manual method. It already exists at within production mapping (old PLTS), maybe it should be made apart of the mapping module.
### arcpyproduction EXAMPLE:
    arcpyproduction.mapping.ClipDataFrameToGeometry (data_frame, clip_geometry, {exclusion_layers})


Nov 13, 2012
Using the result of a Spatial Definition Query would be helpful for publishing regions with ArcGIS for Server.

It would be useful to publish a geographic portion of the production enterprise geodatabase, negating the need to perform a distributed geodatabase replica.

Oct 7, 2012
Can't belive that this basic functionality still isn't available!

Sep 5, 2012
Was just about to write the exact same thing but you got in before me :)        Awesome idea......

Trying to temporary highlight problem bridges only on certain roads.... but not affect the original source... or create extra redundant copies of data.          

The clip suggestion isn't quiet the same

Aug 30, 2012
This might come in handy; would it also make sense to expand the functionality to turn any selection subset into a definition query, and retain that definition query once you clear selected features?

Sep 12, 2011

Clipping may work in some cases, but some tools do not recognize clipped features. For instance, when creating a mobile cache from an mxd, the definition query can limit the number of exported features, whereas clipping does not.

Apr 29, 2011

Hi ramong, I believe you can accomplish this workflow by going to the Data Frame Properties > Data Frame > Clipping Options > Clip to Shape. Next click specify shape and in the Data Frame Clipping Dialog select Outline of Features and select your polygon layer. Next you can click exclude layers to exclude all other layers than the points and the output will be showing only the points inside the polygon.

Apr 29, 2011
 This seems like a terribly useful function. for example I have a polygon layer and a point layer. the spatial extent of the points is beyond the polygons. I want to create a map that only displays points that are inside the polygons and exclude points outside of the polygons. I can't manipulate the point attribute table and I don't want to create a layer based on selection. This seems like such an elementary aspect of spatial analysis that it should be as available to users as a definition query is in the layer properties dialog.

Aug 10, 2010

Spatial Relationship Class



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