I need to display polygons as different colors based on a value in a separate data table that I've imported from Excel. The polygon attribute table and data table both have a field with the polygon ID#, which I'm trying to use to join the 2 tables.

There are multiple entries for each individual polygon in the data table (each month over 14 years has a value). I've tried doing a one-to-many join based on the polygon ID (called 'toparea' below), but only the first set of values is appended to the shapefile (ie, only Jan 2000 will join to the polygon attribute table). I need to display the 'new_cpue' values for Jan through Dec for 2000-2014. Here is what I'm getting when I try to join: enter image description here

I created the shapefile with the polygons manually from a set of coordinates, and it has all the underlying spatial information. There is no spatial information in the second table I imported except for the ID# of the polygon.

Relating the 2 tables works fine. When I relate I can select the polygon and get the information contained in the related data table, but I can't display the information for the polygon from the related data table, which is ultimately what I need to do.

  • 2
    Which value from the excel table are you trying to display? Or do you need a summary of all values displayed? It is possible to do one-to-many joins, however this produces a new feature class that contains all the data, and multiple features for each different record from the excel table. You could also manage the data in the Excel table into the format you wish to display as a one-to-one if this would work
    – Midavalo
    Commented Jan 12, 2016 at 18:58
  • 1
    By Which value from the excel table are you trying to display? I mean which of the multiple records would you want to display/colour against your polygon?
    – Midavalo
    Commented Jan 12, 2016 at 18:59
  • "display polygons as different colors" is another problem. Do you want to display the latest date's value or all of them by using semi-transparent symbology (e.g., hatching)? If you want to show the latest, you can follow what @klewis suggests and use Sort tool to place the latest at the top with a solid colour symbol.
    – fatih_dur
    Commented Jan 12, 2016 at 23:56

1 Answer 1


The tool called "Make Table Query" will perform a one-to-many join for you, into a new layer. For example, if a single polygon has 3 related records in Excel, the output will contain 3 stacked polygons each with a different joined record. This tool is available at any license level.

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