I performed a task ArcMap 10.1, using the Spatial Join tool in the toolbox. Then, from the Results widows, right-click and select Copy As Python Snippet. This will be the basis for a script that will loop over a series of input / output combinations to automate the repetitive steps a user would otherwise perform manually.

The script contains a large field mapping. I'm not performing any field mappings so, in my mind, I don't really need it. Is there a way to remove the field mapping section and tell arcpy to just use the same names? That's what the code is doing but I'm looking for a cleaner way. Plus, my iterations will not contain the same fields but they will not have any field mapping either. I tried removing the field mapping section and replacing it with "" but that didn't work.

Update 2 - One solution, and I'm holding out hope for something more elegant, iterate the feature classes used for each spatial join and build the field mappings in code.

Update 1 - Added script. The error is "arcgisscripting.ExecuteError: Failed to execute. Parameters are not valid." when I replace the field mappings with "". The error occurs on the line beginning with "INTERSECT",.

                           """Field01 "Field01" true true false 4 Long 0 0 ,First,#,C:/.../localFileGeodatabase.gdb/XXX-TargetFeatures-XXX,Field01,-1,-1;
                            Field02 "Field02" true true false 4 Long 0 0 ,First,#,C:/.../localFileGeodatabase.gdb/XXX-TargetFeatures-XXX,Field02,-1,-1;
                            Field03 "Field03" true true false 2 Text 0 0 ,First,#,C:/.../localFileGeodatabase.gdb/XXX-TargetFeatures-XXX,Field03,-1,-1;
                            Field120_1 "Field120" true true false 2 Text 0 0 ,First,#,C:/.../localFileGeodatabase.gdb/XXX-TargetFeatures-XXX,Field120,-1,-1""",
                            "INTERSECT", "2000 Feet", "
  • When you omit the field mappings what error happens? Can you share some code snippets of what you are trying to do? – Farid Cheraghi Feb 16 '15 at 17:05
  • Try replacing the field mapping with "#" instead of just "", sometimes that works. – Erica Feb 16 '15 at 20:46

A FieldInfo object might work (I use them in MakeFeatureLayer_management operations) -- takes all the original field names, keeps the name the same, and tags them as "visible."

origFields = arcpy.ListFields(origFC)
fieldInfo = arcpy.FieldInfo()
# make feature layer with all fields named the same and visible
for field in origFields:
    fieldInfo.addField(field.name, field.name, "VISIBLE", "")

Then use the fieldInfo variable in the appropriate parameter location.

SpatialJoin_analysis (target_features, join_features, out_feature_class, {join_operation}, {join_type}, {field_mapping}, {match_option}, {search_radius}, {distance_field_name})

(ref. ArcMap Help Page)

                           "JOIN_ONE_TO_MANY", "KEEP_COMMON", fieldInfo, "INTERSECT", "2000 Feet",)
  • This MIGHT be completely wrong for SpatialJoin_analysis and you might need to use field mapping instead. I have only dabbled slightly in this area, so this answer might be either incomplete or outright wrong... – Erica Feb 16 '15 at 20:45
  • The underlying problem was the XXX-TargetFeatures-XXX on the first line. The feature could not be found. One I gave a full path so it could be found, your suggestion about using "#" worked. – DenaliHardtail Feb 16 '15 at 21:39

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