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I have a spreadsheet with various feature data; I would like to add this data to an existing shapefile. I have a common column in both the shapefile and the excel data. I would like to be able to add symbols of the new data to the drawing. I am working with ArcGIS 10.1.

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    Would you be able to edit your question to include details of what you have tried so far and exactly where you are stuck, please? You seem to already realise that you need to use a Join.
    – PolyGeo
    Aug 4 '14 at 11:54
  • I have formatted my excel file to ESRI standards no spaces, headers are the feature titles, no dashes etc. I then inserted this table and joined it with the existing shapefile. The features appear to become joined within the attribute table of the shapefile but the data shows up as "null'.
    – Matt
    Aug 4 '14 at 11:58
  • Check whether the data type is the same for both columns (e.g. both text, or both int, etc.). This is frequently the problem with "failed" joins.
    – Erica
    Aug 4 '14 at 11:59
  • They are both "double"
    – Matt
    Aug 4 '14 at 12:00
  • Would you be able to edit your question to revise it with any clarifications that we request via comments, please? That way the question is standalone rather than requiring potential answerers to read a trail of comments.
    – PolyGeo
    Aug 4 '14 at 12:00
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Here are two options:

  1. Use Make XY Event Layer to create temp points from excel (based on x/y columns)
  2. Merge or Append (database schema has to be the same for append option) event layer to destination shapefile

OR

  1. Use Table to Table to convert excel to .dbf or feature class table
  2. Use search cursor to get x/y coordinates and attributes from table, and then use insert cursor to create new features in destination layer
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  • +1 because although the Q is a dupe, this answer is not. A join only works when you already have geometry to link a table to, whereas these methods can be used to create new features. Apr 12 '18 at 16:39
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I know that you're looking for an answer that uses ArcGIS but if you're willing to use QGIS instead, then here is a pluggin called mmqgis. This plugin simply join a shapefile with an excel database.

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  • Where should I download QGIS from and will i then be able to bring the results back into ArcGIS as a shapefile?
    – Matt
    Aug 4 '14 at 11:59
  • The fastest way will be to do the same with Arcgis, but of course if you do this with QGIS you can then export the join shapefile and open it in Arcgis :)
    – Staelen29
    Aug 4 '14 at 12:04
  • Thanks but where should i download it?
    – Matt
    Aug 4 '14 at 12:07
  • Install QGIS (qgis.org/fr/site) then launch it. Find "extension tool" and select mmqgis. The install will be very simple.
    – Staelen29
    Aug 4 '14 at 12:09
  • Ive installed QGIS and the pluggin, could you step me through the process to join the csv table with the shapefile
    – Matt
    Aug 4 '14 at 20:40

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