Skip To Content

Symmetrical Difference

Available with Advanced license.

Summary

Features or portions of features in the input and update features that do not overlap will be written to the output feature class.

Illustration

Symmetrical Difference illustration

Usage

  • The input and update feature class or feature layer must be of the same geometry type.

  • Attribute values from the input feature classes will be copied to the output feature class. However, if the input is a layer or layers created by the Make Feature Layer tool and a field's Use Ratio Policy is checked, then a ratio of the input attribute value is calculated for the output attribute value. When Use Ratio Policy is enabled, whenever a feature in an overlay operation is split, the attributes of the resulting features are a ratio of the attribute value of the input feature. The output value is based on the ratio in which the input feature geometry was divided. For example, if the input geometry was divided equally, each new feature's attribute value is assigned one-half of the value of the input feature's attribute value. Use Ratio Policy only applies to numeric field types.

    Caution:

    Geoprocessing tools do not honor geodatabase feature class or table field split policies.

  • This tool will use a tiling process to handle very large datasets for better performance and scalability. For more details, see Geoprocessing with large datasets.

  • This tool may generate multipart features in the output even if all inputs were single part. If multipart features are not desired, use the Multipart to Singlepart tool on the output feature class.

Syntax

SymDiff_analysis (in_features, update_features, out_feature_class, {join_attributes}, {cluster_tolerance})
ParameterExplanationData Type
in_features

The input feature class or layer.

Feature Layer
update_features

The update feature class or layer. Geometry type must be the same geometry type as the input feature class or layer.

Feature Layer
out_feature_class

The feature class to which the results will be written.

Feature Class
join_attributes
(Optional)

Determines which attributes will be transferred to the output feature class.

  • ALLAll the attributes from the input features will be transferred to the output feature class. This is the default.
  • NO_FIDAll the attributes except the FID from the input features will be transferred to the output feature class.
  • ONLY_FIDOnly the FID field from the input features will be transferred to the output feature class.
String
cluster_tolerance
(Optional)

The minimum distance separating all feature coordinates (nodes and vertices) as well as the distance a coordinate can move in x or y (or both).

Linear unit

Code sample

SymDiff example (Python window)

The following Python window script demonstrates how to use the SymDiff function in immediate mode:

import arcpy
from arcpy import env
env.workspace = "C:/data"
arcpy.SymDiff_analysis("climate.shp", "elevlt250.shp", "C:/output/symdiff.shp", "ALL", 0.001)
SymDiff example 2 (Stand-alone script)

The following stand-alone script demonstrates how to use the SymDiff function:

# Name: SymDiff_Example2.py
# Description: Create symmetrical difference between input and update features
 
# Import system modules
import arcpy
from arcpy import env
 
# Set environment settings
env.workspace = "C:/data"
 
# Set local variables
inFeatures = "climate.shp"
updateFeatures = "elevlt250.shp"
outFeatureClass = "C:/output/symdiff.shp"
clusterTolerance = 0.001
 
# Execute SymDiff
arcpy.SymDiff_analysis(inFeatures, updateFeatures, outFeatureClass, "ALL",
           clusterTolerance)

Licensing information

  • ArcGIS Desktop Basic: No
  • ArcGIS Desktop Standard: No
  • ArcGIS Desktop Advanced: Yes

Related topics