I am trying to merge the polygon features with the point that falls inside of it using a spatial join. The problem I'm running into is that if I select 'contains' it selects both polygons. If I select 'completely contains' it doesn't select either.

I have to zoom in pretty close to see the point is in one polygon and not the other, is there a way to enhance the selection precision?
Are there any other things that I can try?

I'm using ArcGIS 10.0 SP5

Example, 1:1

  • How close do you have to zoom in to see what polygon a point falls within, what does the scale box say? I've noticed if you zoom in too far what you see isn't actually a true representation of the feature relative position. It may be that the point is snapped to the polygon vertices. Instead of a spatial join ave you tried using the union geoprocessing tool? This allow for some fiddling around with snapping tolerances.
    – Dowlers
    Aug 8, 2015 at 4:59
  • The map above is at 1:1. It isn't snapping since the data comes from a 3rd party. I haven't tried the Union tool, it only lets me select polygons and not the point class.
    – azkyle
    Aug 8, 2015 at 14:45

1 Answer 1


You should change the xy tolerance of Spatial Join tool. To do so:

  • Open Spatial join tool and fill the parameters as needed.

  • Click Envirnments... button

  • In XY Resolution and Tolerance section, input a low xy tolerance.

the tolerance must be less that the distance between the point and the edge of your right polygon

  • I changed it all the way down to a fraction of a mm and same result. This is a good thing to know now tho, thanks
    – azkyle
    Aug 9, 2015 at 7:06

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