So I'm trying to create a model tool in ArcGIS 10.1 that will integrate select by location and buffer.

These are the features that the user is supposed to be able to choose:

Select Layer by Location - selecting features

Buffer - distance of buffer radius (must be in km)

These are the features that the users will not be able to change:

Select Layer by Location - Relationship (COMPLETELY_WITHIN), Input Feature Layer

Buffer - Dissolve type (LIST), End type (ROUND), Side type (FULL)

This is the model I have created so far, but it doesn't let me enter all the fields I would like to enter, and when I run it it generates no output: enter image description here

How do I create a model where I can enter the values I'd like?

  • what is the 'Selecting Features' variable?
    – Tangnar
    Commented Jan 23, 2015 at 16:24
  • They're supposed to be able to select a layer that the features are in that they would like to use this tool on (like which layer they want to buffer I guess?).
    – EmilyF
    Commented Jan 23, 2015 at 16:29
  • So looking at this model they are always selecting from CSRS_ORN_NER but potentially with different polygons (Selecting Features)?
    – Hornbydd
    Commented Jan 23, 2015 at 16:30
  • Also what do you mean by "...it doesn't let me enter all the fields.."? As your model stands the only things a user can change is the selecting polygon layer and the buffer distance. It will always overwrite the buffer output.
    – Hornbydd
    Commented Jan 23, 2015 at 16:33
  • Yeah they're always selecting a polygon that has lines from CSRS_ORN_NER in it. I think I confused myself into thinking that I didn't have all the features I needed to enter, but I do have them all. Even now though, it generates empty output and I'm not entirely sure why.
    – EmilyF
    Commented Jan 23, 2015 at 16:38

1 Answer 1


You need to set a default value for the Selecting Features Layer. Ideally this would be the layer file the user is going to be selecting the most. Once there's a valid value in the Selecting Features layer variable, that oval should turn a different color and the model should run. It's one of those annoying little idiosyncrasies of ModelBuilder that will have you banging your head on your desk repeatedly. It can get worse if you have nested models (which you don't, so that's a headache for another time).

On another note, you might want to make the output file a parameter, that way the user won't be forever overwriting his own results or generating errors when the model tries to overwrite and fails. Of course, that also opens up the possibility of an end user doing something they're not supposed to and breaking the thing, so it's entirely up to you.

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