I have a layer which is a map of a town, and a shapefile which shows the boundaries within that town.

I wish to cut the layer up along each of the internal boundaries so that I end up with many layers, each containing the map of one small area as defined by shapefile. I know that I can use the clip tool to cut the map to the shape of the whole shape file, but I don't know how you use the boundaries contained within the shapefile to cut the map.

I am using ArcGIS Desktop 10 SP5 with the ArcView License


Since you mentioned that you have updated to an ArcInfo license, I would recommend looking into a script tool called Split Layer By Attributes from ESRI's Geoprocessing Model and Script Tool Gallery. The general workflow for this tool is as follows:

  1. Use Union or Intersect to assign attributes from your boundaries shapefile to your town shapefile.
  2. Run Split Layer By Attributes to export individual shapefiles based on an attribute field.

If you have an ArcInfo license you can use Split tool instead of Clip tool.

See Split (Analysis)

Splitting the Input Features creates a subset of multiple output feature classes.

The Split Field's unique values form the names of the output feature classes. These are saved in the target workspace.

  • This is not available for ArcView; Only on ArcInfo License. – Devdatta Tengshe Mar 8 '13 at 11:01
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    This didn't answer the questions directly (as I said I only had ArcView) lucky I have and ArcInfo Licence lying around and I upgraded – falcs Mar 8 '13 at 11:41
  • If you didn't have an ArcInfo license you could use the Split tool in QGIS to equal effect, although you may also need to do an intersect/union first as in Aaron's answer. – Baltok Mar 8 '13 at 14:21

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