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My question is simple, but I didn´t find any tool in ArcMap that is able to achieve it. I have a quite large dataset whose features I want to work with. In order to handle the limited capacities of my computer I split the entire working-area (that is, the envelope of all my features) into a grid of size 5km. The idea behind this is that whenever I finish processing one of those grid-cells I can completely release their memory. However my grid-cells still seem to be to big as I still have memory-issues.

So I further thought that I could reduce the grid-size to the size of the biggest feature, that is either the one with the biggest width or height. The area however isn't useful to me, as there are also polygons that are very long but have a small area (street-features for instance).

The problem now is: How do I determine the largest feature to have an indicator for my grid-size? I found some arcpy that extracts the features envelopes:

arcpy.MinimumBoundingGeometry_management("inFeatures", "Envelopes.shp")

But now I´m stuck.

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    Please Edit the question to focus on the exact capability of your machine and whatever processing difficulty you are having, instead of the non-functional work-around. – Vince May 19 '17 at 11:14
  • i think your first approach sounds reasonable. why don't you clip your input using the grid, but i.e. try a 4 km2 grid instead? plus, are you sure that ArcCatalog releases the data from memory completely? I once had simmilar issues with a modelling software and had to use a command line script to automate processes. maybe check your memeory using the task manager during processing to see whether memory acutally is released. – dru87 May 19 '17 at 11:34
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If I understand well, you need the extent of the bounding box of each feature. This can be computed based on the field calculator

!Shape.extent.Xmax! - !Shape.extent.Xmin!

and

!Shape.extent.Ymax! - !Shape.extent.Ymin!

then you can select by attribute

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