I'm trying to exclude a distance of 2km from several built-up area/settlements as an exclusion area.

A little background, I extracted the built-up area from a land use cover map and converted it to polygons. Afterwards, I created a buffer of 2km but the buffer seems excessive; not that it's an error from the buffer function, but rather, the built-up area polygon consists of tiny polygons everywhere, and the buffer function applies the 2km distance to these tiny pieces as well blowing it out of proportion in a way.

How can I handle this type of file without allowing these tiny polygons that are not major settlements mess with the buffer result?

If I leave as it is (with the large buffers), it will greatly exaggerate the exclusion area and will leave me with a limited suitable area to work with.

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2 Answers 2


Explode your polygon so you have individual polygons in your dataset. Then select by attribute to filter by shape area. My guess is you only want to the larger polygons selected. Optionally you can export this to a new feature class or shapefile. Finally, run the buffer again with the larger polygons selected (or on the exported feature class that only contains the larger polygons).

  • Thank you. I selected the bigger polygons and exported to shapefile like you suggested. I wasn't able to select by attribute due to how the data file is, but I selected the polygons I consider big enough to make the buffer. It worked. Thanks :)
    – Yfunfur
    Commented Aug 21, 2023 at 19:32

You must Dissolve all of them first. Then use Multipart To Singlepart and delete all the small polygons who represents tiny houses.

I hope it helps

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