I'm trying to find vacant land in my city. I have a layer with buildings and a layer of parcels. I want to create a layer of the parcels that do not have buildings within them. I have tried select by location, but it only gives me parcels that do have buildings. Also, I have at least 80,000 buildings so each time I try a join it takes forever and usually crashes.

  • Welcome to gis.stackexchange! Please note that a good question on this site is expected to show some degree of research on your part, i.e. what you have tried and - if applicable - code so far. Also include which software you want to or can use. For more info, you can check our faq. – underdark Aug 9 '16 at 16:36
  • Check out gis.stackexchange.com/questions/37406/select-by-not-in-location/… Your question sounds very similar. – Baltok Aug 9 '16 at 16:55
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    What GIS Software? – Mapperz Aug 9 '16 at 17:05
  • Thanks everyone. I'm currently running select by location, with parcels as my target layer and buildings as my source layer. I used the method "contain the source layer feature". Then I'll switch the selection. I think that should get me what I want; it's been running for about 10 minutes so far. Fingers crossed. – Cheryl in Calgary Aug 9 '16 at 17:55

I assume you're using ArcGIS. If your selection gives you all parcels that do have buildings, then you can simply press the "switch selection" button in the attribute table.

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Note that the answer in the linked "similar question" doesn't provide any details as to how to go about reversing the selection.

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    Good point, I assumed a certain level of familiarity with the UI and interface in ArcMap when I answered that question. I will update it to include more detail. – Baltok Aug 9 '16 at 17:37

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