I have a shapefile with polygons that portray survey areas (Pink areas in picture below).

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I receive a new updated shapefile with additional survey areas, and thus new polygons (Green areas in picture below)).

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Every polygon has a unique source ID. I want to compare the source ID attribute tables between the original and the updated shapefiles, in order to extract the difference (see below)

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I want it to result in a new shapefile with only differing polygons (Green areas in picture below).

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How do I accomplish this using ArcGIS Desktop?

  • 2
    Please zoom into a few polygons so that we can see what you are asking. I'm pretty sure Union followed by Select will be an answer to anything in the vicinity of what you seem to be asking, especially if you do not have an Advanced level license.
    – PolyGeo
    Apr 12, 2019 at 8:08
  • @PolyGeo I have and Advanced level license. Is there perhaps a better way to do it? I felt the unique IDs for each polygon would work best. I have zoomed in the pictures as well. Apr 12, 2019 at 8:45
  • @BERA The pink polygons represent the areas I had in the original shapefile. The green polygons represent ones that have been added in a new updated shapefile. I want to remove all polygons that are the same in the two shapefiles, so that only the new (green) polygons remain, preferably in a third shapefile. In this example the original shapefile have 12 polygons (all colored pink). In the updated shapefile there are 13 polygons (the new one is colored green). The polygons that are equal in the two shapefiles I want removed, so only 1 polygon remain in a new shapefile. Apr 12, 2019 at 9:33
  • @BERA Each polygon has a unique ID. In this example new polygons overlap old ones, but they can just as well not. That they overlap or not is irrelevant. I just want to separate the new polygons from the old ones in my original shapefile. Apr 12, 2019 at 9:43
  • 1
    Join A to B and export records with no match. Repeat with B to A.
    – FelixIP
    Apr 12, 2019 at 9:44

1 Answer 1


Unless I am misunderstanding the question, the way I would do this is to:

  1. Create a relation between your original and updated layer.
  2. Select all in the original layer.
  3. Run the relate to pass the selection through to your updated layer.
  4. Invert the selection
  5. Export the current selection.

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