I have a polygon shapefile (Shapefile-A). In this shapefile there are some polygons which overlap and some don't overlap. I want to take intersection of these overlapping polygons and make a new shapefile (Shapefile-B). After taking the intersection I want to make a new shapefile (Shapefile-C) which contain these intersected polygons (Shapefile-B) and the non-overlapping polygons from the original shapefile (Shapefile-A). When I use intersect tool in ArcGIS, a new shapefile is created with only those polygons which overlap but the non overlapping polygons are gone.

How do I get a shapefile in which the non overlapping polygons are also present along with the intersected polygons?

  • Your question and comments contradictory – FelixIP Jan 24 at 4:45

Using the Union tool is the answer. But, you will need to do a bit more work after you run the tool. All the overlapping and non overlapping polygon WILL show up in the attribute table. You will need to detect which are the overlaps an which are not by simply looking at the FID (some will have a -1 and some will carry over the FID from the overlapping polygons). You can symbolize the overlapping polygons or even do a select by location and export them into its own shapefile.


Use the Union tool.

Computes a geometric union of the input features. All features and their attributes will be written to the output feature class.

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  • union tool is not working. Union tool again merges all polygons. I want to intersect the overlapping polygons. – studysmart Jan 24 at 3:21
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    @studysmart The Union tool doesn't merge polygons, it intersects and preserves non-overlapping. Exactly what you asked for. If it's not doing what you want, then I recommend editing your question to make it clearer. – user2856 Jan 24 at 3:25
  • As you can also see in the picture that you have attached that circle and square are merged. There is no intersection. By intersection I mean the areas that are common in both polygons should be included. The area that is not common in both polygons should be removed. – studysmart Jan 24 at 3:29
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    @studysmart What you have just stated in your comment is the definition of the Intersect tool which is different to what your question is asking and is what you said you don't want. Can you please EDIT your question (don't use comments) and be very explicit about exactly what you want. Perhaps having a look at the pictures in the overview of different overlay tools in the documentation will assist. – user2856 Jan 24 at 3:38
  • I think the concept of coplanar polygons being enforced by the polygon-on-polygon overlay tools (Union, Intersect, etc) may be confusing the asker. Coplanar polygons have only been mentioned in one post on this site: gis.stackexchange.com/questions/37230/… In any event, I think they should add pictures of a few polygons and their attributes to their question. – PolyGeo Jan 24 at 5:03

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