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Select By Location: graphic examples

This topic covers examples and expected results of the various Relationship options available in the Select Layer By Location geoprocessing tool as well as the Spatial Join geoprocessing tool.

For details on Intersect 3D and Within a distance 3D relationships, see Select By Location 3D relationships.

Terminology

Dialog KeywordPython Keyword

Intersect

INTERSECT

Intersect 3D

INTERSECT_3D

Within a distance geodesic

WITHIN_A_DISTANCE_GEODESIC

Within a distance

WITHIN_A_DISTANCE

Within a distance 3D

WITHIN_A_DISTANCE_3D

Contains

CONTAINS

Completely contains

COMPLETELY_CONTAINS

Contains Clementini

CONTAINS_CLEMENTINI

Within

WITHIN

Completely within

COMPLETELY_WITHIN

Within Clementini

WITHIN_CLEMENTINI

Are identical to

ARE_IDENTICAL_TO

Boundary touches

BOUNDARY_TOUCHES

Share a line segment with

SHARE_A_LINE_SEGMENT_WITH

Crossed by the outline of

CROSSED_BY_THE_OUTLINE_OF

Have their center in

HAVE_THEIR_CENTER_IN

All details that follow are written using the terminology of the Select Layer By Location tool. However, these details also apply to the Spatial Join tool. The parameter names differ between the tools as follows:

  • Select Layer By Location has Input Feature Layer; the Spatial Join equivalent is Target Features.
  • Select Layer By Location has Selecting Features; the Spatial Join equivalent is Join Features.
  • Select Layer By Location has Relationship; the Spatial Join equivalent is Match Option.

Clementini spatial relationships

Within Clementini and Contains Clementini refers to the within and contains spatial relationship as defined in the following paper: Clementini, Eliseo, Paolino Di Felice, and Peter van Oosterom, "A Small Set of Formal Topological Relationships Suitable for End-User Interaction," Proceedings of the Third International Symposium on Advances in Spatial Databases, 277–295, June 23–25, 1993.

Contrast of the three contains spatial relationships

Definition of boundary: For lines, the boundary is the two endpoints; for polygons, the boundary is the edge.

  • Contains - Selects features in the input feature layer that contain a feature in the selecting features layer. The selecting features can be inside as well as on the boundary of the input feature layer.
  • Completely contains - Selects features in the input feature layer that contain a feature in the selecting features layer, as long as the feature in the selecting features layer does not intersect the boundary of the input feature layer.
  • Contains Clementini - The results are identical to Contains with the one exception: if the feature in the selecting features layer is entirely on the boundary of the input feature layer, with no part of the contained feature properly inside the feature in the input feature layer, the input feature will not be selected. Clementini states that the boundary of a point is always empty, and the boundary of a line is the endpoints.
  • Contains and Contains Clementini produce identical results with point and multipoint input, and the selecting features are point or multipoint.

Contrast of the three within spatial relationships

  • Within - Selects features in the input feature layer within or contained by features in the selecting features layer.
  • Completely within - The result is identical to Within except when the feature in the input feature layer intersects the boundary of the feature in the selecting features layer; then it is not selected.
  • Within Clementini - The result is identical to Within except when the entirety of the feature in the input feature layer is on the boundary of the feature in the selecting features layer. Clementini states that the boundary of a point is always empty, and the boundary of a line is the endpoints.

Legend for graphics

For all the examples below, the following legend applies:

  • Input feature: green
  • Input feature's center: red X
  • Selecting feature: gray

The graphics are labeled A, B, C, and so on. Each relationship (Intersect, Contains, and so on) that is valid for that combination of geometries is listed in the left column of the table. The geometric cases that would be selected for that relationship are listed in the right column of the table.

Select point using point

Select point using point
Select point using point

Intersect

A

Contains

A

Contains Clementini

A

Within

A

Within Clementini

A

Are identical to

A

Have their center in

A

Select point using point table

Select point using multipoint

Select point using multipoint
Select point using multipoint

Intersect

A, C

Contains

A

Contains Clementini

A

Within

A, C

Within Clementini

A, C

Are identical to

A

Have their center in

A, C

Select point using multipoint table

Select point using line

Select point using line
Select point using line

Intersect

A, C

Within

A, C

Completely within

A

Within Clementini

A

Have their center in

A, C

Boundary touches

C

Select point using line table

Select point using polygon

Select point using polygon
Select point using polygon

Intersect

A, C

Within

A, C

Completely within

A

Within Clementini

A

Have their center in

A, C

Boundary touches

C

Select point using polygon table

Select multipoint using point

Select multipoint using point
Select multipoint using point

Intersect

A, C

Contains

A, C

Contains Clementini

A, C

Within

A

Within Clementini

A

Are identical to

A

Have their center in

A, D

Select multipoint using point table

Select multipoint using multipoint

Select multipoint using multipoint
Select multipoint using multipoint

Intersect

A, C, E, F

Contains

A, F

Contains Clementini

A, F

Within

A, C

Within Clementini

A, C

Are identical to

A

Have their center in

A, D

Select multipoint using multipoint table

Select multipoint using line

Select multipoint using line
Select multipoint using line

Intersect

A, C, E, F

Within

A, C, E

Completely within

A

Within Clementini

A, E

Have their center in

A, D, E

Boundary touches

C, E

Select multipoint using line table

Select multipoint using polygon

Select multipoint using polygon
Select multipoint using polygon

Intersect

A, C, D, E, F

Within

A, C, D, E

Completely within

A

Within Clementini

A, D, E

Have their center in

A, B, C, E, F

Boundary touches

C, E

Select multipoint using polygon table

Select line using point

Select line using point
Select line using point

Intersect

A, C, D

Contains

A, C, D

Completely contains

A, D

Contains Clementini

A, D

Have their center in

D

Boundary touches

C

Select line using point table

Select line using multipoint

Select line using multipoint
Select line using multipoint

Intersect

A, C, D, E

Contains

A, C, E

Completely contains

A

Contains Clementini

A, E

Have their center in

D

Boundary touches

C, E

Select line using multipoint table

Select line using line

Select line using line
Select line using line

Intersect

A, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, J

Contains

G, H

Completely contains

G

Contains Clementini

G, H

Within

F, H

Completely within

F

Within Clementini

F, H

Are identical to

H

Boundary touches

C, E

Share a line segment with

F, G, H, I, J

Select line using line table

Select line using polygon

Select line using polygon
Select line using polygon

Intersect

A, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, J, K, L, M, N, O

Within

A, D, G, H, I, O

A

Within Clementini

A, D, G, H, I

Boundary touches

F, G, H, I, K, L, M, N, O

Share a line segment with

G, I, J, K, M, O

Crossed by the outline of

C, E, H, L, N

Have their center in

A, C, D, E, G, H, I, J, O

Select line using polygon table

Select polygon using point

Select polygon using point
Select polygon using point

Intersect

A, B

Contains

A, B

Completely contains

A

Contains Clementini

A

Have their center in

A, D

Boundary touches

B

Select polygon using point table

Select polygon using multipoint

Select polygon using multipoint
Select polygon using multipoint

Intersect

A, B, C, E

Contains

A, B, E

Completely contains

A

Contains Clementini

A, B

Have their center in

A, D

Boundary touches

E

Select polygon using multipoint table

Select polygon using line

Select polygon using line
Select polygon using line

Intersect

A, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, J, K, L, M, N, O

Contains

A, D, G, H, I, O

Completely contains

A

Contains Clementini

A, D, G, H, I

Boundary touches

F, G, H, I, K, L, M, N, O

Share a line segment with

G, I, J, K, M, O

Crossed by the outline of

C, E, H, L, N

Have their center in

E, I, L

Select polygon using line table

Select polygon using polygon

Select polygon using polygon
Select polygon using polygon

Intersect

A, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, J, K, M

Contains

C, E, H, M

Completely contains

C

Contains Clementini

C, E, H, M

Within

F, G, H, M

Completely within

F

Within Clementini

F, G, H, M

Are identical to

H, M

Boundary touches

D, E, G, H, I, J, M

Share a line segment with

D, H, I, M

Crossed by the outline of

A, E, G, J, K

Have their center in

C, E, F, G, H, K, L

Select polygon using polygon table

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