I am trying to erase around 200 county road shapefiles from a state boundary. The files become too large to work with when the roads are merged into one state roads file. How can I iterate the erase process so that all the roads are removed from my one state shapefile, instead of manually erasing each road one after another? Note, I have buffered the roads so that they are no longer polylines. I am using Arcmap 10.2.2.

  • 1
    Merge roads into single feature class, using county extent as environment extent. Use erase tool if license advanced, alternatively union merge with county and delete anything where merge_fid=>0
    – FelixIP
    Jan 25, 2016 at 19:22

1 Answer 1


I use the Dissolve Tool (Data Management Tools -> Generalization -> Dissolve) to eliminate the polygon borders of multiple polygons within a larger polygon.

I typically dissolve zip code boundaries (polygons) that are within a county shapefile (polygon).

  • The road shapefiles are seperate from the county polygon. I want to remove the road polygon from the shapefile of the polygon, which would leave gaps where the roads would have been. Dissolving won't do that. Also this does not answer what I am asking. I want to know if there is a way to continually run an "erase" so that my 200 road shapefiles are removed from my one county polygon, so that I do not have to manually erase 200 shapefiles.
    – V0921psc
    Jan 25, 2016 at 16:22

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge that you have read and understand our privacy policy and code of conduct.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.