I have a County shapefile that I am trying to combine with an updated community or jurisdiction shapefile. I have tried Unioin, Merge, and Spatial Join, but am not getting the desired results. The end product is going to be a spreadsheet where you can filter by county, state that the Jurisdiction layer does not currently have.

The closest I have gotten to the correct output is doing a spatial join with County as the Target layer, Jurisdiction as the join layer and doing a one to many join. Also choosing "within" as the match option.

This is close, but is not joining any jurisdictions on the boarder of the county or the county boundary. It only seems to be taking the jurisdictions completely within the county border.

2 Answers 2


The method to do this would be:

  1. Union county layer with jurisdiction (this will take care of those jurisdictions that overlap multiple counties)
  2. Convert those unioned jurisdiction features to a centroid layer, use the Feature to Point tool.
  3. Spatial join county layer with centroid layer
  4. Export table to xls or csv

Since you're exporting to spreadsheet anyway, I'd convert the Jurisdiction dataset to centroids and then spatial join to the County polys. Each point would collect the county name that it fell within. Export the centroids to spreadsheet.

  • 1
    How would this centroid method work for jurisdictions that overlap multiple counties?
    – artwork21
    Mar 27, 2015 at 19:07

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