I have a shapefile with some polygons,I need to compare these polygons with another set of polygons in another shapefile and see if the second are larger in AT LEAST one direction.

How can I do it?

I'm using Arcmap in the trial version for the moment

Here a screenshot

As you can see, I have a set of yellow polygons that have to be compared with the blue ones (that are several and of really different dimensions): I need to know for each yellow polygon if the blue polygon that contain his centroid is TOTALLY included in the yellow one or is larger for at least one direction

What I mean is that if the blue polygon that contain the centroid of the yellow one is larger or not. Maybe it's easier with a graphical support: enter image description here

  • Case 1: the blue is greater than the yellow
  • Case 2: the blue is smaller than the yellow
  • Case 3: the blue is greater than the yelloe in one direction (so for my purpose it's greater

I need to refer to the polygons in which the centroid fall, because the blue are consecutive (as you can see from the previous image) and the yellow can exceed in another one.

  • 1
    Add a screenshot of the polygons
    – Bera
    Commented Nov 10, 2016 at 12:29
  • It seems like setting some topology rules might flag the polygons that meet your criteria. desktop.arcgis.com/en/arcmap/10.3/manage-data/topologies/… The specific rules can be found here: resources.arcgis.com/ru/help/main/10.2/01mm/pdf/…
    – Map Man
    Commented Nov 10, 2016 at 13:09
  • 2
    It's fairly easy to identify blue polygons that fall entirely within a yellow polygon, just look at the parameter options in the select by location tool. But your second part "larger for at least one direction", well which direction and how do you define larger than?
    – Hornbydd
    Commented Nov 10, 2016 at 15:40
  • I edited the question in order to reply to your points
    – Mattia
    Commented Nov 11, 2016 at 9:50

1 Answer 1


As Hornbydd points out the Select by Location would work in the example you give with the yellow and blue polygons. Use the blue polygons as target layers, the yellow polygons as source layer and the selection to 'are completely within the source layer feature'.

You can export this selection as a new layer,AreWithin, to see if they also overlap with the centroid of the yellow polygons. To find the centroid of the yellow polygon maybe you can use feature to point that will create points in the middle of the yellows polygons. Then again use a selection to see if the points are inside the new layer,AreWithin, you created based on the first select.

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