enter image description hereThis might be a really complex analysis and I'm not entirely sure how possible it is but it is worth a shot.

Is it possible to do analysis of positioning between either a "polygon and polygon" or "point and polygon"? Basically I have a polygon that delineates a boundary and I have another polygon that shows a building footprint and I want to know whether or not I can fit another building within this boundary. Of course the position of the existing structure plays a critical role in determining the possibility of adding a second structure.

I have my doubts about doing this analysis as there could be any number of complex variables in determining whether or not a second structure would fit (ie. shape and size of the first building, shape and size of the second building, shape and size of the boundary etc...)

Complete shot in the dark but wondering if anyone has ever done anything like this?

  • 1
    I'm not sure I completely follow what it is that you want to do. Could you add a screenshot to clarify a bit? :)
    – Martin
    Jan 7, 2014 at 13:31
  • so the boundary is shown in black and of course the structure is obvious. Although this piece of land is unlikely to be approved for an additional large structure, it not the less serves the purpose for this explanation. If for example the placement of the structure was based on the eastern most part of the property, you could most certainly build a large structure at the rear with its own driving lane.
    – rspencer38
    Jan 7, 2014 at 13:37

1 Answer 1


Here is a method that will help you to do a first screening. It will not be perfectly accurate but it is rather simple and easy to implement.

1) use the buffer (analysis) tool with a negative value to shrink your parcels. http://resources.arcgis.com/en/help/main/10.1/index.html#/Buffer/000800000019000000/

2) use the "erase (analysis)" tool to remove your your building from your shrinked parcels http://resources.arcgis.com/en/help/main/10.1/index.html#//00080000000m000000

3) "select by location" the original parcels that intersect the polygons resulting from steps 1 and 2. Selected parcels are those where a building can be constructed.

The new building can have any shape that fits into a circle of diameter equal to the negative buffer size. The drawback is that you will miss some potential parcels, especially if you tolerate "long" building. You could therefore use two buffer size : a large buffer where you are sure to find the place and a small buffer to identify parcels that are very unlikely to be suitable.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.