6.5.1. Clip

Using the Clip tool, two layers can be overlaid with each other. The output layer (which has to be specified as a new vector file) will contain the content of the first layer (Input vector layer) reduced to the geometry and extent of the second layer (Clip feature) (Fig. 25). A similar process is also followed when clipping raster data, but the Clip (Data Management) tool is used instead. This tool is also useful if you require all data layers to have the same spatial extent, for example if you are working with a specific region and only need a small piece of a bigger layer. Note: A specific example is not shown here, but this is how the tool would be used.

To use the Clip tool:

  1. Open the Search window text icon16.
  2. Type “clip” (or browse to Analysis Tools > Extract > Clip in the ArcToolbox).
  3. Choose the Clip (Analysis) tool. This one is for vector data.
  4. The Input features layer is the layer that will be clipped.
  5. The Clip Feature will be the new extent of the clipped layer.
  6. Name and save the new clipped layer.
  7. Click OK.

Fig. 25. A visualisation of how the clip tool works in ArcGIS taken from the help menu (ESRI, 2013).