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I am currently outlining property boundaries and then copying and pasting in the necessary attributes on a daily basis. I would like to speed up this process and remove the chance of error by introducing some automation.

From my database I am able to export (to an excel file), all of the records for the coming day. I would like some kind of drop down box or search function which allows me to select the correct record from the excel file for the property boundary which I have just created. I would like to achieve this using a python script.

However, I have searched online for related problems or tutorials and cant find any solutions or similar problems. I would like some pointer about where to start with this and how to approach it. Are there any specific arcgis or python tools/modules which can help me achieve this?

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Does your Excel file have a column with a unique identifier that can be linked to the same identifier in your property boundary layer? – Baltok Sep 28 '12 at 15:59
up vote 2 down vote accepted

I would create a field in your excel spreadsheet for an ID.
Then the same field for your polygon data.
Join the spreadsheet to the polygon on the id field,
Then when you create a new polygon and type in the "correct" ID number it will autmatically join the correct data.
The last step then would be to calculate the values from the join (all at once on a selected set) into the correct fields in the polygon.

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Hi, Thanks for the answer, I had assumed that a join would only work for existing records and existing polygons at the time of the join? Do I understand correctly that the records will attach themselves to new polygons with the corresponding unique ID. – Matt Oct 2 '12 at 14:44
forgot to tag @Brad Nesom – Matt Oct 2 '12 at 14:50
@Matt Walsh - Yes it is pretty cool to watch. If you arrange your attribute table so you can see the ID of the parent and the attributes of the child as soon as you type the correct id it populates the child info to that record. NOTE: that if you have an oid (DBF file) you can turn on editing for the child table and work the same result in reverse. – Brad Nesom Oct 2 '12 at 15:02
Thanks @Brad Nesom, a great solution. – Matt Oct 2 '12 at 15:12

Take a look at this digitizing add-in I developed that uses a drill down menu to select the attributes when digitizing features.

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