I am trying to write a script that does the following.

  1. Imports an xls file containing x, y, and other columns with data. I want to make this into a point shape file.
  2. I want to take that point shapefile and do a sum of two columns and the result be outputted to an additional field within the point shapefile.
  3. Lastly I want to take that modified shapefile and do an IDW and output a raster.

I have tried the first step but no luck so far. Anyone has any good comments I could feed from?

  • 2
    What is your code so far?
    – Erica
    Jun 19, 2014 at 14:42
  • 2
    I agree with Erica, posting your code would yield better answers so we can help you out. I noticed your tags you wrote model builder. Do you want to do this exclusively in python or are you open to using model builder as well? Clarify your question please!
    – GISHuman
    Jun 19, 2014 at 14:47
  • 1
    You say that you are stuck on the first step so I think you should edit this Question to focus it on that, and then research/ask about the subsequent steps separately.
    – PolyGeo
    Jun 19, 2014 at 21:07
  • 4
    @Alex Rather than having a rolling Q&A, which is not what GIS SE is designed to do, I think you should Accept an Answer on this one and separately research/ask your new question about how to create a Python script tool from a Python script. You should be able to find this in the ArcGIS Desktop Help.
    – PolyGeo
    Jun 19, 2014 at 22:28
  • 1
    Based on your edits, you can do this within model builder. You just need to create model parameters resources.arcgis.com/en/help/main/10.1/index.html#/…
    – GISHuman
    Jun 20, 2014 at 17:29

1 Answer 1


In general, workflows that you would like to automate I would recommend first doing it manually. Once you have that logic understood (what tools to use when), then yoiu could create a model/python script.

For this case here would be the general model workflow (assuming you are using ArcGIS):

  1. Use Make XY Event Layer tool to create the GIS layer
  2. Use Add Field tool for the sum field
  3. Use Calculate Field tool for field calculation
  4. Finally, use IDW tool to create the raster layer

Set any parameters for the model and save it to re-use, or export it to a python script for further logic control.


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