I have a large number of points representing assets that I need to field verify. Their unique IDs reflect when they were created, which is not a good indicator of how close they are to each other. How can I sequence these points in a logical order for exporting to a shapefile that will be transferred and updated on a Trimble GeoXH unit? I am using ArcGIS Desktop 10.3.1 with an Advanced License and have access to the following extensions: 3D, ArcScan, Geostatistical, Network, Publisher, Schematics, and Spatial Analyst.

I do not have a geometric network in place, and haven't had any success using the "Find Route" tool, probably because the points aren't addresses on a street.

My thinking is some kind of model that calculates the closest point from a defined starting point (Near tool), writes an n+1 integer to a sequence field, then iterates to select that next closest point and repeat the process.

I have very limited coding experience and am hoping there is an easy tool or small set of tools to use instead of having to code a large, complex model.

  • Please edit the question to specify which license level of ArcGIS you have available (Basic, Standard, Advanced).
    – Vince
    Sep 10, 2015 at 19:34

1 Answer 1


There are a number of ways to accomplish a spatial sort of a collection of points, but the easiest would be to use Sort (Data Management) with a spatial_sort_method (this requires an Advanced license - formerly known as "ArcInfo").

If you don't have the Advanced license, you could still use Sort, but you might need to populate columns where a grid_x and grid_y exist, then use the grid columns, with a Y or X value to sort in row- or column-major order (and within the grid by one dimension).

  • Thanks, Vince. It looks like I'd want to use the PEANO spatial sort method. As I noted above, I do have an advanced license and a number of extensions. I am able to select the SHAPE field of the feature class to sort by, but the Spatial Sort Method is still grey'd out. Do I need to enable a certain extension? Currently ArcScan, Geostatistical Analyst and Spatial Analyst are enabled.
    – Joe Bryant
    Sep 10, 2015 at 20:58
  • I got around this by adding the Spatial Sort Method as a variable in model builder. I then was able to select PEANO. It looks like it will do the trick!
    – Joe Bryant
    Sep 10, 2015 at 21:19

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