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Ad-hoc tests could be done in ARCPLOT with RESELECT and/or ASELECT. I believe you
want the WITHIN option (you could also test for the number of polygons NE 1)
Bulk processing could be done a number of ways, but POLYGON-on-POLYGON overlay
usually needed clever use of regions and/or region-polygon lists to model the many-to-
many relationships involved.
I agree with Vince. Arcplot is the way to do this most efficiently.
arcplot reselect pcov poly studycov poly overlap # within &if [extract 1 [show select pcov poly]] eq 0 &then ~ &type pcov is outside of studycov &else &type pcov is inside polycov
RESELECT with OVERLAP does require some topological processing (unlike dealing with extents [ArcGIS "envelopes"]) so it is a little slower than your garden variety spatial selection.