I am creating a model in ArcGIS model builder (10.2). I have buffered zones (polygons) and within these zones there are different soil types (polygons; Shapefile feature class). I have assigned values (ranging from 0 to 10) to the different soiltypes, depending on their usability for the concrete purpose (usability score).

What I want to do now is to calculate then MEAN usability score within a buffered zone, weighted by the the share of the land. For example, if a soiltype polygon with usability score 10 covers 100% of the buffererd zone, the MEAN usability score would be 10, but in case it only covers 50% and a soiltype polygon with a usability score of 2 covers the other 50%, the MEAN usability score should be 6.

To sum up, I am looking for something like "Zonal statistics" (which exists for raster layer as input value), but adaptable to polygons with a certain score as value.

I could not find any solutions yet, maybe there is a standard operational procedure I do not know about?

1 Answer 1


One option would be:

  1. Start model with the Feature Set variable to allow the user the ability to interactively select the buffer zone
  2. Use the Clip tool with the selected buffer polygon feature and clip out the intersecting portion of the soil layer
  3. Finally, use Summary Statistic tool (MEAN option) on the clipped out soil layer from step 2 on the soil type score field

All these tool options should be available in v10.2 too.

  • Thanks for your answer! What I forgot to mention is that I want to do it for 11,000 polygons (my buffers), which are partially overlapping. Is there an established alternative to iterating over each polygon, like grouping the polygons (for example by the means of graph colouring)?
    – Sibrom
    Commented Apr 11, 2016 at 17:41
  • ModleBuilder has various types of iterators you may use (e.g. feature or layer). Depending how your data is, classified in one layer or split out to many layers, will determine what iterator you should use. Are you wanting to combine any overlapping polygon feature? Also, are your polygons in one layer or many layers?
    – artwork21
    Commented Apr 11, 2016 at 23:40

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