Skip To Content

Join Features

Join Features The Join Features tool will transfer attributes from one layer or table to another based on spatial and attribute relationships. Optionally, statistics can be calculated for the joined features.

Workflow diagram

Join Features workflow diagram

Examples

An analyst has crime data throughout their city. To analyze and study the impact of these crimes, the analyst needs to understand the relationship that the crime locations have with the various city jurisdictions such as school districts, police beats, neighborhoods, and so on. By using the Join Features tool, additional information about each location can be appended to each crime, and the impact on various jurisdictions can be further studied and analyzed.

Tip:

ArcGIS Living Atlas of the World state and county layers include population data that can be joined to your crime data.

Usage notes

The Join Features tool is designed to transfer and append information from one layer to another. The information that is transferred is based on the type of spatial relationship defined or based on a common attribute that is shared between the two datasets.

Tip:

Depending on the configuration of your organization, you will have access to either Living Atlas Analysis Layers or Custom Analysis Layers that may contain information needed for your analysis. Click the drop-down arrow for the Choose layer to join to target layer parameter to select an analysis layer to use as the join layer.

When joining features, you can join features based on a spatial relationship, an attribute relationship, or a combination of the two.

OptionsDescription

Choose a spatial relationship Choose a spatial relationship

The spatial relationship that will determine if features are joined to each other. The available relationships depend on the geometry type (point, line, or area) of the layers being joined. Available spatial relationships are as follows:

  • Identical to
  • Intersects
  • Completely contains
  • Completely within
  • Within a distance of

Choose the fields to match Choose the fields to match

The attribute relationship that will determine if features are joined to each other. Features are matched when the field values in the join layer are equal to field values in the target layer.

The join operation determines how joins between the target and join layers will be handled if multiple features in the join layer are found to have the same relationship to the target layer. The following are the two join operations from which to choose:

  • Join one to one—This option joins the features in the target layer to a single feature in the join layer. Optionally, if statistics are added using the Add statistics parameter, matched joined features will be summarized to each feature in the target layer. If the matching record is defined using the Define which record is kept parameter, you can choose to either keep the first matching record (default) or to keep a matching record based on an expression. An expression can use either a numeric field (option for largest or smallest record) or a date field (option for newest or oldest). If statistics or an expression are used, the count of features will also be added.
  • Join one to many—This option joins all the matching features in the join layer to the target layer. The result layer will contain multiple records of the target feature.

Example of joining one to many and one to one
An example of one to one and one to many attribute joins. In this example the one to one joins include the default record, the sum of Occupants, and the maximum from Occupants.

If Use current map extent is checked, only the features visible within the current map extent will be analyzed. If unchecked, all features in both the target layer and the join layer will be analyzed, even if they are outside the current map extent.

Create results as hosted feature layer view allows the data to stay up-to-date as the source data changes. Hosted feature layer views containing joins will be read-only and do not consume credits for analysis and storage. Creating results as a hosted feature layer view is only available for attribute joins. If statistics are included as part of the output, the hosted feature layer view will contain an extra table layer in the view with the statistics. Additionally when storing results as a hosted feature layer view Use current map extent is unavailable.

Click Show Credits before you run your analysis to check how many credits will be consumed.

Limitations

Summary statistics can only be calculated if a Join one to one operation is specified.

You can create a hosted feature layer view from the analysis results if all of the following conditions are met:

  • You are the owner of both layers.
  • Both layers are hosted feature layers.
  • You are performing an attribute join.

How Join Features works

Equations

Standard deviation is calculated using the following equation:

Standard deviation equation
Standard deviation variables

Calculations

Statistics are calculated for only those features that meet the specified spatial or attribute relationship used in the Join one to one operation. You can calculate numeric and string statistics. By default, only the Count is calculated. Using the table above, numeric statistics were calculated on the field Occupants and string statistics were calculated on the field Building_Name for the values of Apartments for the field Type.

Numeric StatisticResults of Occupants of Type Apartment

Count

Count of:

[130, 8, 250] = 3

Sum

130 + 8 + 250 = 388

Minimum

Minimum of:

[130, 8, 250] = 8

Maximum

Maximum of:

[130, 8, 250] = 250

Average

388/3 = 129.333

Standard Deviation

Standard deviation
= 121.0014
Note:

The count statistic counts the number of nonnull values. The counts of [0, 1, 10, 5, null, 6] = 5.

Similar tools

Use Join Features to transfer attributes from one layer or table to another based on spatial and attribute relationships. Other tools may be useful in solving similar but slightly different problems.

Map Viewer analysis tools

Use the Enrich Layer tool to get demographic and landscape information for the people, places, and businesses associated with your point, line, or area data locations.

ArcGIS Desktop analysis tools

Join Features performs the functions of the Spatial Join, Add Join, and Summary Statistics tools.