Take the 2-minute tour ×
Geographic Information Systems Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for cartographers, geographers and GIS professionals. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Is there a way to populate a field automatically when a new point is dropped on the map?

We have our map in State Plane Feet, and we want to the database to automatically add WGS xy coordinates to fields in the table when a new point is added.

Something like a calculated field, but always there?

Forgive me if this is basic, as I am an systems admin and google has not helped me.

share|improve this question

2 Answers 2

I'm not aware of out-of-the-box functionality within ArcMap that dynamically adds X/Y coordinate fields when you add a point. However, you can use the tool Add XY Coordinates both manually and programatically (Python) if you want. For example, you could create an automated task to run Add XY Coordinates on the layer(s) you want on a daily/weekly/monthly basis that will add/update the XY fields.

I hope this helps. Maybe someone else has a cleaner solution.

share|improve this answer
So there is no trigger like functionality to features? –  masterofnone Aug 22 '12 at 20:58
They only one I'm aware of is that you can select an attribute while actively digitizing that is symbolized uniquely and it will add that attribute to your new features. E.g., a Name field that has Smith and Jones symbolized differently in the layer. You can choose Smith or Jones and it will auto-populate that field in the next feature you digitize. –  Baltok Sep 5 '12 at 18:06

Baltok's option is probably what you are looking for, but you can also use XTools to populate all your records with XY. The tool is called Add XY Coordinates and its a free tool within XTools.

share|improve this answer
It is likely that @Baltok was referring to the Add XY Coordinates Tool that is part of the core package, so you do not need to add an extension to do it. –  Get Spatial Aug 22 '12 at 16:16

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.