I have script that I run quite regularly in the python window of Arcmap 10.2.2 and am in the process of converting it to a toolbox script so that others can use it more easily.

It uses select layer by location a number of times, for example:

arcpy.SelectLayerByLocation_management(Contours_G_1m, "CONTAINS", peakpoints)

It worked fine in the python window but now that its in a tool it fails with

Parameters are not valid. ERROR 000368: Invalid input data

This is not at all surprising because this tool works on a layer and the script does not add a layer to the map when it creates a new feature class.

Is there any way of selecting the feature in a shapefile rather than a layer by location, or a workaround for using this tool in a script?


the input data of selectlayerbylocation is a layer. When you take it from ArcGIS python Windows, the feature class is already accessed through a layer, but with a stand alone script it is necessary to create the layer first.

This can be done with MakeFeatureLayer_management (in_features, out_layer, {where_clause}, {workspace}, {field_info})

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