Erase creates a new feature class by overlaying two sets of features. The Erase Features polygons define the erasing area. Input Features or portions of input features that overlap the Erase Features are not written to the output feature class.
Input Features can be points, lines, or polygons, but Erase Features must be polygons. Output Features will be of the same geometry type as Input Features.
Erase does the following:
- Determines the spatial reference for processing. This will also be the output spatial reference. For details on how this is done, see Spatial Reference. All the input feature classes are projected (on the fly) into this spatial reference.
- Cracks and clusters the input and erase features. Cracking inserts vertices at the intersection of feature edges; clustering snaps together vertices that are within the xy tolerance.
- Discovers geometric relationships (overlap) between the input features and the erase features.
Input features or portions of input features that do not overlap erase features are written to the output feature class.
To explicitly control the output spatial reference (coordinate system and domains), set the appropriate environments, the Output Z Aware, and Output M Aware as desired. Note that the spatial reference used during processing is the same as the output spatial reference; therefore, all Input Features and Identity Features must be within the X, Y, Z, and M domains.
Erase is one of several overlay commands available. Clip is similar to Erase, except that input features that overlap the clipping region are preserved instead of erased. Other overlay commands are Split
, and Identity