I'm pretty new to GIS, but hope I'm moving in the right direction. I have a layer of the county map of LA, which is divided into communities and a layer of the building coverage of the county. The building layer contains a large amount of data, so it takes a long time to render making visual analysis difficult. It seems to me that the way to deal with this is to break the building layer into 353 much smaller layers based on community (there are 353 communities in the attribute table). In that way I'm thinking that if a have a community_buildings layer for each community I can make them visible as needed without bogging down ArcMap.

It seems to me that what I would want to do is a spatial join on the communities layer to the buildings layer and then break that result into a 353 different layer based on communities, but I don't know how to accomplish the second part which is splitting one layer into multiple layers based on an attribute.

Below is the graphic of the data sets to get a feel for what I'm talking about. Hopefully I'm moving in the right direction, but if I'm not can someone reorient me?

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  • You might try groups of communities to keep the number of layers fewer? A possible alternative to creating 353 layers and having to find and turn them on or off in the TOC, would be to create a Data Driven Page project and use a Page Definition on the community field. Then you could open the index layer table and simply right click on a community and choose pan/zoom/go to page and it will take you there and only show the buildings within it. This works best if you can leave your index table open; I have a second monitor for that. This works in the view, not just layout. – johns Jul 5 '18 at 19:59

Check out the Split by Attribute tool in the Extract toolset. Should be the tool you are looking for to split your layer

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