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I have joined two polyline shapefiles together that represent two months worth of data. I'm now trying to find any changes to the shape of the records between the two months (added vertices, deleted vertices).

Is this possible to detect these changes with a definition query? If not, is there an efficient way to detect changes in the geometry of the record? I have a "LENGTH" field and I am able to query records that have a different length but that doesn't necessarily give me all of the records who have had their vertices changed.

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up vote 4 down vote accepted

My direct Answer to your Question is "No - but Spatial Definition Queries are the subject of an ArcGIS Idea that you may want to vote for".

However, I think a much better approach is to use Feature Compare.

Alternatively, if you are more interested in a database approach to tracking changes through delta (add/delete) tables you may want to investigate Geodatabase Versioning.

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Thanks for your answer. I have been getting a lot of suggestions from various people for the Feature Compare tool, it just doesn't seem to filter or capture how I'd like (I have a set of results that I know to be accurate, from a vb app) and this doesn't replicate those. One way that I've found is to do a Select by Location where features are identical and then switch the selection, which gives me changed records. –  Craig Mar 14 '13 at 12:18
    
This sounds like the adds & deletes (delta) tables of geodatabase versioning - have you investigated that? –  PolyGeo Mar 14 '13 at 19:45

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