I am working on ArcGIS 10.1. I have a layer of polygons divided into squares of 200m/40m with the attribute table filled. I have a second layer of polygons divided into squares of 200m/60m with an empty attribute table.

The second layer is the new division into squares of the first one, so they have the same attributes.

How can I fill the second layer using the data on the first one using ArcGIS 10.1? I want the second layer to take the value of the centroids of the first layer. Attribute tablethe first layer the second layer

  • 1
    What are you planning to do when two polygons 200/60 intersect the same polygon 200/40 ? This is the key to the problem. Please edit your question.
    – radouxju
    Jun 10, 2014 at 11:45
  • @Khaoula I think radoxju was asking what you wanted to happen when two 200m/40m polygons intersect one 200/60m polygon? If there are two choices of attributes to chose from which should it choose? Jun 10, 2014 at 12:57
  • This sort of question just screams for a graphic that shows both layers, their centroids, and a tabular example of your goal.
    – Vince
    Jun 10, 2014 at 13:12
  • Please show a graphic that is zoomed in to a score of features, with features from both layers and their centroids visible at the same time (tranparency enabled). Not only will this show others what you want, it will also show you how to solve the problem.
    – Vince
    Jun 10, 2014 at 13:59

1 Answer 1


If you have the Advanced licence, you can use the Feature to Point tool to create points at the centroid of the 200m x 40m polygon and then use the Spatial Join tool to add the data from the points to the 200m x 60m polygon.

The process is a bit longer if you have the Basic or Standard licence. Add two fields, one with the Name 'X' and type 'Float' and the other Name 'Y' and Type 'Float' to the 200m x 40m polygon. Open the attribute table and right click on the new X field and click Calculate Geometry. Under the property drop down menu select 'X Coordinate of Centroid'. Do the same for the Y field, but choose 'Y Coordinate of Centroid'

With the attribute table still open click on the Table Options in the top left and select 'Export...' Export the table and make sure you add it to the current map. The table will appear in the TOC. Right click on it, and select 'Display X Y Data...'. The centroid points will appear as whatever you named the table + 'Events'. Right click on the new points and click 'Data' then 'Export Data...' and name it whatever you want. You will have the centroids of the polygons to then use with the Spatial Join tool.

However, this solution does not deal with the issue that radouxju has raised in the comments, notably what to do when two centroid points are within one polygon. You will end up losing data from one of the polygons.

points and polygons


  • if i use the Feature to Point tool, export the new point layer to raster then fill the 200/60 layer from the raster. will i loose data? Jun 15, 2014 at 21:04
  • The data may not necessarily be lost, but the attributes will not be the same in the 200/60 layer because the size of the grid is larger than the 200/40.
    – Adam Thom
    Jun 16, 2014 at 17:47
  • I added another small picture to detail the issue - the larger green rectangle is intersected by four of the smaller rectangles outlined in blue. You will have to deal with the attributes of the four smaller rectangles in some manner. The bottom right rectangle takes up the most room, and is located over the center of the green rectangle, but it also uses less than half the area of the green. Do you want to use only the data from the bottom right rectangle, or somehow incorporate data from all four of the overlapping polygons?
    – Adam Thom
    Jun 16, 2014 at 18:29
  • i'd like to incorporate data from all four of the overlapping polygons. I used feature to point, and then point to raster using krigging. Now i want to fill the empty layer from this raster. Any idea? Jun 16, 2014 at 22:43
  • It depends on the types of data and what it is being used for. It may be acceptable to go polygon to point, interpolate the points to a raster surface, raster to point and then spatially join the points to the larger 200/60 polygon. Then again, this method may give erroneous results. You may wish to read up on topics like ecological fallacy.
    – Adam Thom
    Jun 17, 2014 at 18:46

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