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I am trying to generate random points for a survey, but I want the points to fall based on 2 polygons. I have created a polygon fishnet, and have a layer of forested habitats. I am trying to generate points so that there is one point per grid, and so that the point falls within a forested habitat in the grid. Is there a straightforward way to do this?

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I've not used this tool but are you aware of this sampling tool? Worth a look. –  Hornbydd Apr 16 at 16:29

2 Answers 2

dissolve your forest as a multipart polygon

intersect with your fishnet

use the create random point tool with the result of your intersection as constraining feature class, and 1 as the number of point

CreateRandomPoints_management (out_path, out_name, {constraining_feature_class}, {constraining_extent}, {number_of_points_or_field}, {minimum_allowed_distance}, {create_multipoint_output}, {multipoint_size})

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As @hornbydd mentioned in the comments, the Sampling Design tool has the ability to create stratified random samples. There is a version for ArcGIS 9 and 10. However, you would still need to intersect the two dataset as @radouxju mentioned and create a new field that combines the gridID with the forest attribute. The sampling tool allows you select a field for stratification and lets you specify the number of points in each attribute in that field.

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