I have a large transaction data set in the millions and around a 100 positional points. I need to join the transaction data set to these points. ArcMap won't let me join them without errors or if it does allow it null values are applied to the join.

They have a common field, a meter number for the machines. I have tried using a simple join with the attribute tables. My end goal is to be able to upload this data to an enterprise and integrate it into an operations dashboard. This dashboard would be able to tell the user the number of transactions with the machine within a time period. The transaction data set also has the date attached to it.

I am using ArcGIS Desktop 10.0.

I found a problem. The one web service map I am using has the meters as strings so in the transactions attribute table I added a new field and made it a text. Using the field calculator I added the meter number I was then finally able to perform the join, but only 153 values are in this join meaning it didn't join everything I wanted.

How can I get all of the values to join?

  • 3
    You would need to provide a fair bit more detail for anyone to be able to assist you. How are you trying to join them (do they have a field in common or are you trying to join spatially as your tags suggest). Also, what output are you looking for (do you want a relationship, a temporary one to many join, a new point feature class with stacked points for each record in transaction data set, etc...?). We'd need more details. Please edit the question so someone can better assist you.
    – John
    Commented Aug 5, 2014 at 15:16
  • 1
    What types of join have you tried? Are they shapefiles, feature classes, sde, etc? What version of ArcMap are you using? What error are you getting?
    – GISHuman
    Commented Aug 5, 2014 at 15:19
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    As per your update what's the relationship between the two? One-to-one or one-to-many or many-to-many?
    – GISHuman
    Commented Aug 5, 2014 at 20:28

1 Answer 1


I'll offer one suggestion within ArcMap and another outside of. Since the tables are related by the meter number you can perform the join either within or outside of ArcMap. The fact that the data has a spatial component to it should be irrelevant when joining based on attributes.

I see your tag is ArcMap 10.0, however this tool requires 10.1+:

I would try using Make Query Layer. Since that creates field names with '.' in them, you can't join the result to the original layers. You will then need to export the resulting table to excel or csv where you can edit the '.' out of the field names. Then you add the table to ArcMap and make your join based on whatever field you want.

The second way would be to use an database or database program (LibreBase is an easy open-source example) to make your attribute join. Then you add that table to ArcMap and make your join based on whatever field you want.

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