I have two layers, A and B, with B consisting of a proper subset of the points in A. How can I produce a third layer, C, consisting of just those points found in A but not in B.

In R, I would just use C = rgeos::gDifference(A, B) (function documentation here), a wrapper for the GEOS library function geos::geom::Geometry::difference().

What's the equivalent in ArcGIS?


You can use Select By Location and then switch the selection by right clicking the layer that has the selection and choosing "Selection" and then "Switch Selection". The image shows something similar to how you might select the points that are identical. The final step would be to export the selection that remains after the switch by right-clicking the layer in the table of contents and choosing "Data" and then "Export Data".


  • Perfect! Thanks for the super-clear explanation. – Josh O'Brien Sep 24 '14 at 23:58

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