I'm trying to use the ModelBuilder to fasten up my work in ArcGIS but I don't know how far I can use it and what's possible. Here is my problem:

I want to analyse agriculture parcels regarding to the watersheds. I have two shapefiles: one with all my parcels and one with all my watersheds.

Origin Shapefiles

I now used ModelBuilder to Clip the parcels with each watershed.

Modelbuilder to clip each watershed

This works perfectly and now I have many shapefiles with the parcels from every watershed. (for example: parcels_watershed01.shp, parcels_watershed02.shp,...)

What I would like to do, is use the information I can get from these parcels_watershed shapefiles and bring them into my origin watershed shapefile. For example: I would like to know the area of agriculture parcels inside of each watershed and bring this information into the watershed shapefile.

How can I do this in an automatic way? Is it possible to use ModelBuilder in order to extract an information from one shapefile into another? (I now opened each parcel_watershed shapefile, looked up the statistics of the area and wrote them down and had to fill them manually into the Attribute Table of the watershed shapefile... this is long and I'm sure there must be a better way, but I don’t know how.)

I'm using ArcGIS 10.1 for Desktop.

1 Answer 1


So you need the area of all agriculture parcel for each dataset. There is a tool for this called "Saptial join". Use the JOIN_ONE_TO_ONE option, the sum field mapping rule and the "contain" relationship. No need to iterate.

Note that you can use the spatial join of watersheds on the parcels in order to know the values from the corresponding watershed for each parcel (with the "inside" relationship). You can also use intersect which will have the attributes of both input layers, with the difference that it will create new geometries when your parcel is accross two watersheds.

  • Thank you very much! I tried a few times, and then found that I had to choose "contains" or "within" and it worked.
    – BruunsIX
    Sep 3, 2014 at 14:37

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