Is it possible to add attribute information from a polyline to a point dataset. I have a network layer with information per street how many scooters went over this street. I also have a point dataset of people with information on the level of noise annoyance. I want to add the number of scooters passed by to be added in the attribute table of the point layer. Not all points are exactly on the lines of the streets, so maybe there is a functions which links the closest line with its attributes to the point layer.

Is this possible and if so, how do I manage this?

I have ArcGIS and QGIS software installed.

3 Answers 3


In ArcGIS, you can use "spatial join" tool or right click on the points > joins and relate > join > join based on location.

In QGIS, ther is a similar function (vector >data management tool > join attribute by location)


In ArcGIS Desktop, personally I would look into the "Near" tool http://help.arcgis.com/en/arcgisdesktop/10.0/help/index.html#//00080000001q000000

If you run this tool, you would end up with the ObjectID/FeatureID of the closest road segment for each observation point. So then you could just to a regular table join based on that new value joining it back to the roads and you could get any attribute information from the road segment that's closest to each point, including your noise observation levels.

The reason I suggest this for your problem is first, it will give you the nearest street segment for each point, even if the points are not right on the street. Second, it can give you the distance the point is from the closest spot on the road, so if you wanted to consider how far each noise observation is from the road affecting things, the near tool could help add that extra dimension to your analysis.

  • Spatial join does not need the points to be located on the line and also provides the distance to the line (if asked for). Near requires an advanced licence, so not available to everybody. The additional feature of near are 1)position of the closest point on the line and 2) angle towards this position (+ you can set a radius to avoid searching too far)
    – radouxju
    Mar 16, 2015 at 15:16

Depending on how many points you have, you can consider the Attribute Transfer Tool in ArcGIS: http://desktop.arcgis.com/en/arcmap/10.3/manage-data/editing-existing-features/transferring-attributes-between-features.htm

It is manual but it is easy to map fields between features and get correct results everytime.

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