An overview of the Analysis toolbox

The Analysis toolbox contains a powerful set of tools that perform the most fundamental GIS operations. With the tools in this toolbox, you can perform overlays, create buffers, calculate statistics, perform proximity analysis, and much more.

The Analysis toolbox has five toolsets. Each toolset performs specific GIS analysis of feature data.


GIS datasets often contain more data than you need. The Extract tools let you select features and attributes in a feature class or table based on a query (SQL expression) or spatial and attribute extraction. The output features and attributes are stored in a feature class or table.


The Overlay toolset contains tools to overlay multiple feature classes to combine, erase, modify, or update spatial features, resulting in a new feature class. New information is created when overlaying one set of features with another. There are six types of overlay operations; all involve joining two existing sets of features into a single set of features to identify spatial relationships between the input features.

Pairwise Overlay

The Pairwise Overlay toolset provides an alternative to some of the tools in the Overlay toolset.


The Proximity toolset contains tools that are used to determine the proximity of features within one or more feature classes or between two feature classes. These tools can identify features that are closest to one another or calculate the distances between or around them.


The Statistics toolset contains tools that perform standard statistical analysis (such as mean, minimum, maximum, and standard deviation) on attribute data as well as tools that calculate area, length, and count statistics for overlapping and neighboring features. The toolset also includes the Enrich tool that adds demographic facts like population or landscape facts like percent forested to your data.

Analysis toolbox tools

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