Is there a way to generate random points that only fall within the area of a constraining feature class in ArcGIS Pro?

I've generated random points and specified a polygon feature class as the constraining feature class. Here, the number of points per constraining polygon is important (i.e. I can't just clip the random features to the polygon), and about 20% of the random points fall outside of the constraining polygon.

This is the same Creating random points only within multipart polygon and none outside using ArcMap except that asked about ArcMap and I need a solution within ArcGIS Pro.

  • Try converting each polygon feature to a new feature class, running random points again for each new feature class (using it as the constraining feature), then merging the points. Commented Nov 20, 2021 at 2:45
  • I don't understand what you are saying, if you have set the constraining featureclass the tool should create the number of points you specified per polygon within the featureclass? May be add some images of how you are setting up the tool and the erroneous output and explain why its wrong.
    – Hornbydd
    Commented Nov 21, 2021 at 16:11

1 Answer 1


Your question isn't real clear, but lets get clear on how the Create Random Points tool works with a constraining feature class.

From the help:

Random points will be generated inside or along the features in this feature class. The constraining feature class can be point, multipoint, line, or polygon. Points will be randomly placed inside polygon features, along line features, or at point feature locations. Each feature in this feature class will have the specified number of points generated inside it (for example, if you specify 100 points, and the constraining feature class has 5 features, 100 random points will be generated in each feature, totaling 500 points).

This is pretty straight forward. From your question, what is not clear is if you're running into the "issue" of how the tool will put the asked for number of points into each feature, vs the entire feature class. You could run the Dissolve tool to collapse all the individual features into a single-feature polygon. With this feature class, provide it to the Random Points tool as the Constraining Feature Class

The other possible "issue" is you've used the Constraining Extent parameter with your feature class. If this is the case, you'll absolutely run the chance of having points fall outside your feature class boundaries. For example, the extent of a circle is a square; points could fall inside or outside the circle boundary. Simply, this is not the right parameter for what you want to do.

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