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Error: Validate Topology failed. A failure was detected inside the topology engine overlay processor. [error id: 221]

Error Message

When validating a topology containing one or more polygon feature classes and the 'Must Not Overlap' topology rule, ArcMap or ArcCatalog returns one of the following errors:

"Validate Topology failed. A failure was detected inside the topology engine overlay processor. [error id: 220]", or

"Validate Topology failed. A failure was detected inside the topology engine overlay processor. [error id: 221]".

Cause

When a topology is validated, where the 'Must Not Overlap' rule is applied to a feature class with many coincident polygons, a very large number of topology errors are generated. These messages are returned when the maximum error count allowed during a validate operation has been exceeded.

Solution or Workaround

This scenario often occurs with high-rise condominiums, where each floor is represented by a polygon.

One data modeling solution is to have one floor plan (one polygon feature), and create a relationship between the building footprint and a non-spatial table containing rows for each floor.

Another solution is to create a subtype defined for the condominiums in the feature class, and do not specify the the 'Must Not Overlap' topology rule for the condominium subtype.

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