GEOG 485:
GIS Programming and Automation

Lesson 3 Practice Exercise A Solution


Below is one possible solution to Practice Exercise A with comments to explain what is going on. If you find a more efficient way to code a solution, please share it through the discussion forums. Please note that in order to make the changes to "CitiesLayer" permanent, you have to write the layer back to disk using the arcpy.CopyFeatures_management(...) function. This is not shown in the solution here.

# This script determines the percentage of cities in the
#  state with park and ride facilities

import arcpy
arcpy.env.overwriteOutput = True

cityBoundaries = "D:\\Data\\Geog485\\Lesson3PracticeExerciseA\\Washington.gdb\\CityBoundaries"
parkAndRide = "D:\\Data\\Geog485\\Lesson3PracticeExerciseA\\Washington.gdb\\ParkAndRide"
parkAndRideField = "HasParkAndRide"   # Name of column with Park & Ride information
citiesWithParkAndRide = 0             # Used for counting cities with Park & Ride

    # Make a feature layer of all the park and ride facilities
    arcpy.MakeFeatureLayer_management(parkAndRide, "ParkAndRideLayer")

    # Make a feature layer of all the cities polygons   
    arcpy.MakeFeatureLayer_management(cityBoundaries, "CitiesLayer")

    print "Could not create feature layers"

    # Narrow down the cities layer to only the cities that contain a park and ride
    arcpy.SelectLayerByLocation_management("CitiesLayer", "CONTAINS", "ParkAndRideLayer")

    # Create an update cursor and loop through the selected records
    with arcpy.da.UpdateCursor("CitiesLayer", (parkAndRideField,)) as cursor:
        for row in cursor:
            # Set the park and ride field to TRUE and keep a tally
            row[0] = "True"
            citiesWithParkAndRide +=1
# Delete the feature layers even if there is an exception (error) raised
# Count the total number of cities (this tool saves you a loop)
numCitiesCount = arcpy.GetCount_management(cityBoundaries)
numCities = int(numCitiesCount.getOutput(0))

# Calculate the percentage and print it for the user
percentCitiesWithParkAndRide = ((1.0 * citiesWithParkAndRide) / numCities) * 100

print str(percentCitiesWithParkAndRide) + " percent of cities have a park and ride."

Below is a video offering some line-by-line commentary on the structure of this solution: