I'm working, with ArcGIS 10.2, ona whole lot of petroleum licencing data that chops and changes, in active areas, on a relatively frequent period. i collect the geometry data month by month (saving the copy as a feature class) and then copy the new geometry outs as new features to a feature class that represents the accumulation of geometries over time.

The product, described below, is designed to answer: When has this licence's geometry changed? This is important as companies change their licences for a reason either through business deals, partnerships or failed ventures etc...

I have created a product that will show 90-captures of a geometry due to the time period data has been gathered for. However, due to the nature of the licencing data a lot of licence areas remain unchanged for long periods of time thus making working with the data a bit cumbersome.

For now it is manageable for me to use definition queries to sample a single licence and with the time slider play the history stopping when the geometry changes, making a note of this for later for further analysis (i.e. presenting the time stamps for change as well as a map of the geometry change)

So, after setting the scene the question is: Is there a way, using Python, to print the date (an attribute field) of a licence for when its geometry changes?


Is it possible to select a feature in a time-enabled layer and detect when its geometry changes?

1 Answer 1


Since you have feature classes representing your licencing data each month, and I am assuming that a licence retains its unique idea even when its geometry changes, you should be able to use the Feature Compare (Data Management) tool to detect which licences had their geometry change from one month to the next:

Compares two feature classes or layers and returns the comparison results. Feature Compare can report differences with geometry, tabular values, spatial reference, and field definitions.

This tool would form the basis of your Python script that could do pairwise comparisons of your feature classes chronologically and write a table of licence IDs and geometry change dates.


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