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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.

closed as too broad by Mapperz Aug 9 '16 at 17:05

Please edit the question to limit it to a specific problem with enough detail to identify an adequate answer. Avoid asking multiple distinct questions at once. See the How to Ask page for help clarifying this question. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • 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
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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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