I have 100 points and I want to apply a color palette to the points so that no two points within 25 miles have the same color. The issue I'm trying to prevent is having points close to each other being mistaken for similarity.

What I want this to do is, start with the first point, fill in a field with a value of "ONE" and then select a random point that's not within 25 miles of it. That next selected random point will also get a field value of "ONE". I want this to repeat until I have ten records (points) with a field value of "ONE" and that no two points in this sample is within 25 miles of any other point in the sample.

# Process: Select Layer By Attribute
arcpy.SelectLayerByAttribute_management('InputPoints100', 'NEW_SELECTION',"OBJECTID = 1")

# Process: Calculate Field
arcpy.management.CalculateField("InputPoints100", "Color", '"ONE"', "ARCADE", "ONE")

arcpy.SelectLayerByLocation_management('InputPoints100', 'WITHIN_A_DISTANCE', 'InputPoints100',"20 Miles", 'NEW_SELECTION', 'INVERT')

layer = "InputPoints100"
count = 1

def SelectRandomByCount (layer, count):
    import random
    layerCount = int (arcpy.GetCount_management (layer).getOutput (0))
    if layerCount < count:
        print("input count is greater than layer count")
    oids = [oid for oid, in arcpy.da.SearchCursor (layer, "OID@")]
    oidFldName = arcpy.Describe (layer).OIDFieldName
    delimOidFld = arcpy.AddFieldDelimiters (layer, oidFldName)
    randOids = random.sample (oids, count)
    oidsStr = ", ".join (map (str, randOids))
    sql = "{0} IN ({1})".format (delimOidFld, oidsStr)
    arcpy.SelectLayerByAttribute_management (layer, "", sql)

SelectRandomByCount(layer, count)

arcpy.management.CalculateField("InputPoints100", "Color", '"ONE"', "ARCADE", "ONE")
  • 1
    If all your 100 points fall within a circle with diameter 25 miles then you are clearly facing an impossible task. Assuming that is not the case I think you should start working with two within 25 miles and one further away to see if you can get anywhere.
    – PolyGeo
    Aug 28, 2019 at 20:03
  • The 25 miles is arbitrary and is being used to determine the exclusion points. For example, after the first point is selected, the next point could be any of the remaining 99 points, of which 90 are outside of 25 miles. The problem is figuring out how to conceptualize the workflow to start a script.
    – Dave
    Aug 28, 2019 at 20:06
  • 2
    If you cannot yet start a script then you could take ArcPy and Python out of your question and focus on the ArcGIS Pro workflow instead, or even take ArcGIS Pro out too and then focus on whether an algorithm for what you are trying to do is possible.
    – PolyGeo
    Aug 28, 2019 at 20:27
  • 1
    An idea could be to create voronoi polygon then use 4 color algorithm on those polygon to ensure that 2 "adjacent" point have different color
    – J.R
    Jun 6, 2020 at 12:48

1 Answer 1


I would recommend a different route via the Point Distance tool. You can use the resulting table to create an exclusion list as you iterate through each OID.

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