I have a Map Service that is currently just multiple boundary layers. Users query this Map Service with a lat/long to determine whether or not a Point falls within a Boundary. Currently they are using the ArcGIS Identify operation to do this procedure.
We've found cases where some points of data are falling outside of all boundaries. If the Point is X distance away from a boundary, the users would still like it to be returned. In cases like this, I was thinking of having the user calculate a Polygon Circle with X distance (X determined by their specific function, but let's say 5 miles) based upon their Lat/Long.
My thinking was to have them pass in the geometry for this Polygon Circle, rather than passing in the Point. If there is an intersection, return that boundary. I understand that this could lead to returning multiple results, but the users are fine with this. They basically care whether or not the Point falls within, or near, a given boundary.
What are some good methods for calculating the geometry needed for a Polygon Circle, given the Lat/Long, to be used in the Map Service Identify function?
What I've Tried: I have tried using the "Tolerance" parameter. However, I'm not sure I like this given that it's based upon Pixel tolerance (I understand why). I feel like this wouldn't be the best route to go.
I was told by ESRI (am waiting on a link) that there is an SoE that allows for a "Find Nearest" type function. I'm worried that adding in an SoE could cause blocking on future update for ArcGIS Server. E.X. - Map Services get fundamentally changed, which breaks the SoE, which prevents us from upgrading.