I've written the following arcpy script to loop through a directory and intersect all the shapefiles in it with a certain other shapefile:

import arcpy, os
from arcpy import env
from arcpy.sa import *

#To overwrite output
arcpy.env.overwriteOutput = True

#Set environment settings
env.workspace = "F:/Tiled_Shapes/"


#checkout ArcGIS spatial analyst extension license
inshape = arcpy.ListDatasets("*","All")

clipfile = "F:/Clip_subset.shp"

for i in inshape:
  outPolygons= outws + str(filename) + '.shp'
  inFeatures = [i,clipfile]
  arcpy.Intersect_analysis(in_features=inFeatures,join_attributes = ALL, out_feature_class=outPolygons)

Whats unnerving, is that rather than getting an error, nothing happens. What am I doing wrong here? When I use the intersect feature on the same data in ArcMap, it works fine. Now when I try to do it to a whole directory its failing.

  • 3
    after your inshape = arcpy.ListDatasets("*","All") line, add a print inshape to see what's in the list
    – Midavalo
    Mar 10 '17 at 0:57
  • 4
    Why aren't you using Clip if you're trying to Clip? Are your datasets in F:/Tiled_Shapes/ ? you can skip "*","All" on ListDatasets as they are the default values, inshape = arcpy.ListDatasets() will do the exact same thing. Mar 10 '17 at 1:07
  • @Midalvo: I'm using intersect because I want to retain the attributes of the prior *.shp's. Basically, this is one part of generating a classification error matrix, so I want to know the identity of both polygons prior to intersecting. Also, I added the print inshape. It didn't work at first, but after applying GISge's fix, it did. Thank you. Mar 10 '17 at 14:35
  • You should edit your question to clarify which geoprocessing operation you're using: Clip or Intersect. They are not the same thing but you're using the terms interchangeably in your question and in your code, I'm a little worried you aren't doing the operation you think you're doing.
    – Dan C
    Mar 10 '17 at 14:57
  • @Dan C: Its doing exactly what I expect it to be doing. Here, I'm using intersect like a clip, but retaining the spatial data from the both files. In this case I want to exclude data that isn't spatially coincident between the two. I want to know what intersects what within the context of either shapefile. Mar 10 '17 at 15:00

In my experience, with arcpy list functions, it's always best to choose the most restrictive one (e.g. if you want to list rasters, use arcpy.ListRasters(), not arcpy.ListFiles().

Even though a shapefile is a dataset, they're not included in the possible formats for arcpy.ListDatasets(). So here, you should use arcpy.ListFeatureClasses() (technically a shapefile is a feature class, even if this term is mostly used for geodatabase feature classes).

And as @Midalvo mentioned, it's a good idea to use print statements to see what's returned by a list (or any function), when you don't get the expected results

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