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I am trying to incorporate a simple spatial join in a model but the spatial join options in ModelBuilder are different from the right click-->join options. How can I do the join as in the image below in the data management-->

enter image description here

Above process works fine but I have to do it manually.

The process below fails/doesn't give the result I want and I need to incorporate this in the model as otherwise I have to do this manually and then complete the process in a second model.

enter image description here

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closed as off-topic by PolyGeo Mar 16 at 8:20

This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:

  • "This problem cannot or can no longer be reproduced. Changes to the system or to the asker's circumstances may have rendered the question obsolete, or the question does not include a procedure to enable potential answerers to reproduce the same symptoms. Such questions are off-topic as they are unlikely to help future readers, but editing them to include more details can lead to re-opening." – PolyGeo
If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

Is this because when you right click join, that is an attribute or common attribute column join. Where as a spatial join is a join based on features from one spatial dataset intersecting feature from a second spatial dataset. They are different types of joins. – Justin Mar 8 '12 at 1:02
The right click join has two options at the top, an attribute join and spatial join as per the image in my question. – GeorgeC Mar 8 '12 at 1:14
Are they both in the same coordinate system. I know in the python runtime there is some coordinate system switching that was happening to me and I wasn't get the expected results. After I would loop through some spatial intersections I had to re-set the "dataframe" or environment to get accurate results. Perhaps model builder isn't taking care of some on the fly projecting for you like you think. – Justin Mar 8 '12 at 1:20
I'd start by reversing your Target and Join Features - you appear to be wanting to join values from your Buffered Tower Range polygons onto your target Signal_Strength_Added points but have the opposite in your Spatial Join dialog. – PolyGeo Mar 8 '12 at 1:20
What is wrong with the result? It looks like it should be the same join to me. Are you sur"e you don't have "Target Features" and "Join Features the wrong way round in the Toolbox Spatial Join? – Stev_k Mar 8 '12 at 1:24

This issue was based on the size of the dataset and not any real difference with the tools.

Further info is at

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