In ArcMap desktop, I have a layer with buildings drawn as polygons. I would like to copy buildings which are within 50 m from a particular block of buildings into a new layer.

Ideally, I would like to draw a polygon around the block of buildings. Than, I can use a 50-m buffer to select the buildings that are within this buffer.

What tools can I use to draw the block as polygon? How to transfer the buildings within the buffer into a new layer?

1 Answer 1


You should be able to navigate to the menu item titled 'select by location'. After clicking that you should get a dialog window. In there, specify buildings as your source layer, the blocks as your target layer, and a search option such as distance within, which will allow you to plugin a number like 50m into the distance within function. This will select all of those buildings within that distance. After they have been selected, you can right click the buildings layer in the arcmap table of contents tree, and select create layer from selection.

  • Thanks a lot @Moemanchu! All makes sense. The only problem is I do not have this block as a separate layer. I have to draw it somehow. The block is also not simply several attached buildings, but an area that I have to define myself. Do you know how to draw the block and make it as a separate layer?
    – Yule
    Commented Oct 10, 2015 at 14:08
  • I don't have arcmap in front of me right now, but i'm pretty sure there is an option in the draw toolbar that says convert graphics to features. You'll want to try that, which will effectively create a shapefile from your graphic layer.
    – Moemanchu
    Commented Oct 10, 2015 at 14:10

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