I have shape feature class of a province in France. The Geometry type is polygon.

The feature class has columns which describe elevation, landuse, slope and so on. But it does not contain X and Y columns to describe to coordinates. I want to do a climate analysis for this province and already have the simulation files of the climate models. These files contain XY coordinates of rasters within this french province. But I can not visualize the possible climate change because my feature class has no XY coordinates.

I am not very well versed in using ArcGIS, so I don't know how I can add coordinates into my feature class now. The only thing I know is that I can't add them manually because the feature class has about 20000 IDs. For very ID, coordinates are missing. Is there a way to get the coordinates from the existing feature class?

  • Hey Carl - Are you looking to write each polygon's CENTROID coordinates to your feature class? The reason I ask is because a polygon will contain an array of many X/Y coordinates, making up its vertices, giving it shape. If so, you can add a field to the attribute table for your feature class and run the calculate geometry command. – Jim Jan 19 '15 at 18:02
  • Hi Jim! THanks for your answer! Yes, I would like to know the coordinates of the CENTROID of each polygon. – Carl Jan 19 '15 at 18:05
  • Ok no problem. In this case you would add two fields with type 'DOUBLE' to your feature class, one called "CENTROID_X", and another called "CENTROID_Y". Then, run the calculate geometry command on each field, selecting "X Coordinate of Centroid" and "Y Coordinate of Centroid" respectively. – Jim Jan 19 '15 at 18:12
  • Thank you Jim. I did it how you wrote and I have two coordinate columns now :-) Tomorrow I will try if my program can write the simulated temperatures to the correct coordinates :-) Another question: At the moment I cant display anything of my feature class. It means that I use Symbology to display for example elevation with my favorite colour-ramp, but after applying it does not change anything in the data view. The map only keeps grey and the elevation is not shown. I never had such a problem. Is something about my feature class corrupt? Another – Carl Jan 19 '15 at 19:11

ArcMap has this functionality available in a few easy steps, as described here.

In the attributes table, add your X and Y fields to your feature class.

Right-click on each field and select Calculate Geometry.

Select X Coordinate of Centroid or Y Coordinate of Centroid as appropriate.


apart from creating your own X Y columns as mentioned by @Emil Brundage, you can also use the built in tool called "Export Feature attributes to ascii".

This is the answer for your title question, but what you need seems to be different. If you have a raster that you want to compare with your features, I suggest that you use "extract multivalue to point" (for point feature) or "zonal statistics" (for polygon features) in order to put the datasets in a comparable way.

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