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Convert Selection to Definition Query

October 07 2010 | 0 comments
Categories: ArcGIS Methods

I often have to make a map of selected features in a layer that do not follow a pattern in any of the attribute fields. Typically it's a string of consecutive railroad crossings, but other times features are spread out over an area, and the criteria used to select them is not something found in the attribute table, nor is it something that will ever be put into the table.

Is there a way to convert a manual selection of features into a defintion query so that I do not have to enter OID values manually into a definition query or export the selection to a shapefile? I'm trying to avoid typographical errors, save time, and not have one-time-use shapefiles.

Mapping Center Answer:

This is a great question - it sounds like you want to take a snapshot of your selection and hang on to it. We call that creating a selection layer, here is how to do it:

Once you have made a selection, right-click on the layer and choose selection, and then in the next menu choose "Create Layer from Selected Features". 

Once you have that layer that contains only the selected features, you can change their symbolize and use the layer as you would any other layer.  Think of this as a way to use any method of selection to create special kind of definition query that defines the new layer.


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