I have two layers: an Agricultural Land layer and a Parcel Layer (Both are polygon shapefiles). Some big features in Ag Layer will contain, but not completely contain several features of Parcel layer and vice versa.

What I want is to select all the features in Parcel Layer that contains any feature or any part of any feature of Ag Land layer. I tried the Intersection method in Select by Location. However, it will also gives me the features in Parcel Layer that only touches the boundary of these Ag land features instead of being in any of them. I don't want any of that part.

My dilemma is shown in the picture: The Situation

The Blue layer is the Ag layer (with 50% Translucency) and the base layer is the Parcel layer. So as you can see some Ag features cover parts of 2 or even 3 Parcel features. Therefore completely within or contain couldn't really work here.

I sort of need a Intersect_CLEMENTINI if that makes sense to you.

Any idea how to achieve that?

  • 1
    Can you do a second Select by Location where Parcels touch the boundary of Ag polygons and remove these features from your first SBL Intersection? not very elegant.
    – klewis
    Nov 7, 2016 at 19:30
  • what about the clementi options? are within (clementi) and contain (Clementi) ? did those not work either?
    – ed.hank
    Nov 7, 2016 at 19:31
  • To klewis: I tried it. But the thing is sometimes the actual intersected ag features (of layer A) also only touched the boundary but the whole feature can still be within. These features will be unselected while qualified for the result. Thanks
    – Bowen Liu
    Nov 7, 2016 at 19:35
  • To Ed: It doesn't help. The precondition of Clementini is completely contain or within, which doesn't stand in my situation. Thank you
    – Bowen Liu
    Nov 7, 2016 at 19:36
  • 1
    Try overlap type Intersect and a negative search distance, for example -10
    – BERA
    Nov 7, 2016 at 19:39

2 Answers 2


Try overlap type Intersect and a negative search distance, for example -10

  • 1
    Life saver!! How clever, too!
    – nickbrick
    Oct 19, 2017 at 13:05
  • @BERA, how to give a negative search distance using the "select by location" tool?
    – Zac
    Dec 4, 2019 at 1:11
  • @ZacWang there is no way to enter search_distance? desktop.arcgis.com/en/arcmap/10.3/tools/data-management-toolbox/…
    – BERA
    Dec 4, 2019 at 7:46
  • 1
    @BERA, thanks for your reply. I am sorry I didn't mention that I used QGIS which can't set search distance, but I created a negative buffer first as you said, and do intersect calculation after that. link
    – Zac
    Dec 4, 2019 at 22:19

I have the exact same issue, however, in my case it is with river networks and basins. I only want to select basins that do not contain a major river. ¨ However, some of these basins touch the edge of the river and therefore are also not selected. The negative search distance is not possible because it is a line feature. Any ideas on how to fix this in this case?

  • It is advised to create a new post if you want to ask a question as similar posts are deleted. Thank you for complying.
    – GforGIS
    Sep 29 at 8:25
  • If you have a new question, please ask it by clicking the Ask Question button. Include a link to this question if it helps provide context. - From Review
    – TomazicM
    Sep 29 at 8:38

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