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I'm using ArcMap 10 to do distance calculations between a large set of points, using the point distance calculator. The output table generated gives me distances correctly, but the output categories Near_FID and Input_FID are all the same

Here is what I'm doing: I have a csv file with lat, long, FID, and a couple of other object identifiers. I use "add data" in ArcMap, and pull in the csv.

From ArcToolbox I use "Make XY Event Layer" to generate a layer with all the observations or objects. I then use the Point Distance calculator and set the new layer as both the "Input Features" and "Near Features." It calculates distances for all points, correctly from what I can tell, but the "Input_FID" and "Near_FID" both take on the same single value repeated, and don't even match any of the FID numbers from the original layer. As a result, I can't identify the paired points.

I'm sure I'm doing something terribly wrong, as I'm an ArcGIS neophyte, so any help or suggestions anyone can offer would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks!

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Just a note, make sure your shapefiles are projected as a Projected Coordinate System and not Geographic for measuring purposes. –  artwork21 Mar 12 '12 at 17:22
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2 Answers

I suspect that you need to make the event layer from "Make XY Event Layer" permanent by exporting it to a shapefile or feature class before running the Point Distance tool against that.

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Thanks PolyGeo--I appreciate the help. Wish I hadn't spent so much time banging my head against the wall doing it the other way. But this is absolutely right, from what I can tell. –  Amber Cohen Mar 11 '12 at 21:02
    
The Point Distance documentation at help.arcgis.com/en/arcgisdesktop/10.0/help/index.html#//… says that the input has to be Feature Layer but I would like to either see the tool prevent you inputting an Event Layer or to document explicitly that the tool does not support them. –  PolyGeo Mar 11 '12 at 22:48
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PolyGeo appears to be right, at least as far as I can tell. I was trying to calculate distances between points within a single XY layer. I'm not sure if that's possible, but I ended up just breaking out the spreadsheets into two subsets. I had one as a shapefile already, from which I generated an XY event layer. The other subset was a csv file which I used ArcCatalog to generate a shapefile. From there, using Point Distance worked flawlessly to generate distances between points in the xy layer and points in the shapefile.

From what I can tell that's how you're supposed to do it--I had a convoluted reason for doing it the other way, but this works out too. Hopefully this helps someone who might have a similar question later.

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