Eliminate Polygon (Topographic Production)


Eliminates a polygon by merging it with the polygon from the surrounding features that it shares the longest boundary with.


Eliminate Polygon functionality



    This tool modifies the input data. See Tools that do not create output datasets for more information and strategies to avoid undesired data changes.


    A warning is raised if the input features are not in a projected coordinate system. This tool relies on linear distance units, which will create unexpected results in an unprojected coordinate system. It is strongly suggested that you run this tool on data in a projected coordinate system to ensure valid results. An error is raised and the tool will not process if the coordinate system is missing or unknown.

  • This tool is used in situations where topology exists between feature classes. An example is when you have a topology rule that lakes and vegetation should not overlap and a lake feature needs to be removed to accommodate the rule.

  • Features to be eliminated are determined by the selection applied to the Input Features. If no features are selected, all features in the Input Features feature class will be considered for elimination. When a minimum area is specified, only those features, or selected features, that are smaller than the Minimum Area will be considered for elimination.
  • The geometry of each input feature considered for elimination is added to an individual feature from any of the surrounding feature layers that it shares the longest boundary with. For instance, if a feature shares a longer boundary with a feature from layer A and a shorter boundary with a feature from layer B, the feature will be merged with the feature from layer A.
  • All features considered for elimination will be deleted from the input features regardless of whether their geometry was combined with another feature or not.

  • The source feature class of the Input Features can be added to the Surrounding Features to allow the eliminated features to be combined with other features in the source feature class that are not being considered for elimination.
  • The Input Features and all Surrounding Features must exist in the same workspace and have the same spatial reference.
  • Multipart features in the Input Features may return unexpected results. Use the Multipart To Singlepart geoprocessing tool or create a topology with a Must Be Single Part rule to convert features to single part before running Eliminate Polygons.


EliminatePolygon(in_features, surrounding_features, {min_area})
ParameterExplanationData Type

The feature layers that contain the polygons to be deleted.

Feature Layer

The polygon features that the Input Features are compared against. If the feature is smaller than the Minimum Area, it becomes part of the input features.

Feature Layer

Polygons smaller than the Minimum Area will be deleted. If the Minimum Area is left blank, all features or a selection set from the Input Features will be considered for elimination.

Areal Unit

Derived Output

NameExplanationData Type

Feature class where selected polygons were removed based on surrounding_features and min_area.

Feature Layer

Code sample

EliminatePolygon example (stand-alone script)

The following stand-alone sample script demonstrates how to use the EliminatePolygon tool to delete polygons smaller than a specified minimum area.

# Name: EliminatePolygon_sample.py
# Description: Deletes polygons below a specified minimum area

# Import System Modules
import arcpy

# Check Out Extensions

# Set workspace
arcpy.env.workspace = r'C:\data\LocalGovernment.gdb'

# Setting Local Variables
inPolygons = r'ReferenceData\FacilitySite'
inPolylyr = 'Facility'
where_clause = "FCODE='Park'"
in_surrounding_features = r'ReferenceData\BuildingFootprint'
minimum_area = '3000 SquareFeet'

# Create feature layer for input features

# Execute Eliminate Polygon

# Check In Extensions


This tool does not use any geoprocessing environments.

Licensing information

  • Basic: No
  • Standard: Requires Production Mapping
  • Advanced: Requires Production Mapping

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