Finding what is inside a polygon

A spatial join joins the attributes of two layers based on the location of the features in the layers. Like joining two tables by matching attribute values in a field, a spatial join appends the attributes of one layer to another.

These steps are for creating a spatially joined dataset based on what is within a polygon.

  1. Right-click the layer to which you want to join attributes, point to Joins and Relates, then click Join.

    You can also click the Table Options button Table Options on an open table window to access the Join Data dialog box.

  2. Click the What do you want to join to this layer? drop-down arrow and click Join data from another layer based on spatial location.
  3. Click the Layer drop-down arrow and click the name of the layer whose attributes you want to join.

    If the layer is not currently part of the map, click the Browse button Browse to search for it on disk.

  4. Click the option to join the attributes of the features that fall inside the polygon.
  5. Check the boxes for how you want to summarize attributes.
  6. Type the name of the output shapefile or feature class.
  7. Click OK.

    A new layer is added to the map.

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