ArcGIS Pro 2.4.0 (trial version), up to date. Win 10, up to date.

I'm new to GIS. I thought my task would be simple as I only have two layers: a shp file with many thousands of census tracts along with each tract's population count; and a tiny shp file from a municipality with neighborhood borders. And a base map. All I want to do is impose the border of a single hood onto the nation-wide census data tracts so that the census tracts falling partially or fully within the selected hood are selected via Select by Location.

But only a small number of the relationship options return any selected polygon at all, and the result is either too broad or too narrow. The selecting relationships are...

Intersect: result as expected except the number of polygons switches between 14 and 17. Multiple tracts that partially or fully are within hood borders are selected, along with surrounding tracts that touch the hood border.

Within: Just one tract selected, the borders of which appear to fall completely within the hood (when you zoom in really close).

Completely Within: same as Within.

Crossed by the Outline of: Very similar to intersect although one less polygon selected, I don't know why.

Have Their Center In: as expected. All but one of the expected tracts is selected, and that one tract does have a center outside hood borders.

Also possibly relevant is that neither of these return a result: Identical / Border Touches.

In all cases "New Selection" was chosen. All other relationships fail to select at all. I have played around with the Search Distance option as well but those results don't make sense to me either.

I have tried to find answers but didn't come up with much. I confirmed that both layers are feature class and neither had a spatial index so I created those. Otherwise I am stumped.

Any suggestions?

  • 1
    I suggest you amend your question by including some images, sounds like Intersect worked, not sure why you think it has not?
    – Hornbydd
    Jan 11, 2020 at 20:19
  • Are both shapefiles in the same projection? Have you tried running Repair Geometry? Jan 12, 2020 at 2:39


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