Geographic Information Systems Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for cartographers, geographers and GIS professionals. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I have a layer which is a map of a town, and a shapefile which shows the boundaries within that town.

I wish to cut the layer up along each of the internal boundaries so that I end up with many layers, each containing the map of one small area as defined by shapefile. I know that I can use the clip tool to cut the map to the shape of the whole shape file, but I don't know how you use the boundaries contained within the shapefile to cut the map.

I am using ArcGIS Desktop 10 SP5 with the ArcView License

share|improve this question
There is a Split Tool (…) But unfortunately it is available for only ArcInfo. – Devdatta Tengshe Mar 8 '13 at 11:00
Try to use hawth tools . see ( . i don't know you can use this tool for ArcGIS (Arcview) . – wetland Mar 8 '13 at 11:13
The Identity tool was also useful – falcs May 8 '13 at 20:48
up vote 1 down vote accepted

Since you mentioned that you have updated to an ArcInfo license, I would recommend looking into a script tool called Split Layer By Attributes from ESRI's Geoprocessing Model and Script Tool Gallery. The general workflow for this tool is as follows:

  1. Use Union or Intersect to assign attributes from your boundaries shapefile to your town shapefile.
  2. Run Split Layer By Attributes to export individual shapefiles based on an attribute field.
share|improve this answer

If you have an ArcInfo license you can use Split tool instead of Clip tool.

See Split (Analysis)

Splitting the Input Features creates a subset of multiple output feature classes.

The Split Field's unique values form the names of the output feature classes. These are saved in the target workspace.

share|improve this answer
This is not available for ArcView; Only on ArcInfo License. – Devdatta Tengshe Mar 8 '13 at 11:01
This didn't answer the questions directly (as I said I only had ArcView) lucky I have and ArcInfo Licence lying around and I upgraded – falcs Mar 8 '13 at 11:41
If you didn't have an ArcInfo license you could use the Split tool in QGIS to equal effect, although you may also need to do an intersect/union first as in Aaron's answer. – Baltok Mar 8 '13 at 14:21

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.