Problem: No features are selected in ArcMap with "Select By Graphics..."


When using ArcMap, the user can create a graphic and use the graphic as a spatial filter to select features from a feature class. In some cases, no features are selected.


Graphics cannot be used as a spatial filter with Oracle 9i Spatial feature classes that contain geodetic data.

Oracle has advised ESRI that ArcSDE must pass ESRI spatial filter shapes through SDO_CS.VIEWPORT_TRANSFORM to create spatial filter shapes suitable for use with Oracle Spatial geodetic feature classes.

SDO_CS.VIEWPORT_TRANSFORM only accepts optimized rectangles for input. Therefore, only rectangular filters can be used when performing spatial queries on Oracle Spatial geodetic data through ArcSDE. When zooming or panning, ArcSDE clients pass rectangles to ArcSDE to use as spatial filters. However, the graphics used in the ArcMap "Select By Graphics..." function can be any shape and therefore cannot be represented as optimized rectangles.

This transformation does two things. First, it converts optimized rectangles (rectangles with only the lower left and upper right corners defined) into polygons that represent the same area in geodetic space. Secondly, this function converts polygons with an area larger than 1/2 the area of the Earth’s surface into two or more smaller polygons that cover the same area. Oracle Spatial geodetic features cannot have areas larger than 1/2 the area of the Earth’s surface because geodetic polygons can wrap at the poles or at +/-180 degrees longitude, and the side of the boundary with the smaller area is considered to be the interior of the polygon.

This limitation only applies to Oracle Spatial 9i geodetic data used with ArcSDE 8.2 (with Oracle Patch 1) and later.

Solution or Workaround

Unfortunately, "Select By Graphics" cannot work with Oracle Spatial 9i geodetic data. Therefore, this is a "known limit".

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