I developed a python script where the user inputs

  • a polygon shapefile
  • multiple point shapefiles

and within the script the polygon shapefile is divided into 1000mx1000m grid cells and the point shapefiles are joined to the polygon where the intersecting points per cell are counted.

The spatial join is done within a for loop and after the joins are finished, all fields that are not required and do not start with "Join" (like Join_Count, Join_Cou_1, ...) are deleted. Then, the output shapefile is stored.

I tested the code and everything was fine, but now I detected a huge issue. The order of the Join_Count, Join_Cou_1, Join_Cou_2, etc. does not correspond to the order in which the point shapefile were entered.

Below the input order and output order can be seen. I tried it multiple times, but it seems there is no logic behind the order, so not alphabetical, Input order, reverse order, or anything. It seems like it would be ordered randomly.

Bank -> Join_Count (Bank)

Kino -> Join_Cou_1 (Post)

Park -> Join_Cou_2 (Park)

Post -> Join_Cou_3 (Kino)

Why is this happening? Shouldn't it be in the same order as the input? Of course I cannot apply my code then, because the user would have to look manually which of the inputs are at which position.

Here is my code:

import arcpy

studyarea = arcpy.GetParameterAsText(0) 
inputPoints = arcpy.GetParameterAsText(1)
outputLocation = arcpy.GetParameterAsText(2) 

arcpy.GridIndexFeatures_cartography('in_memory\studyarea_grid', studyarea, 'INTERSECTFEATURE', 'NO_USEPAGEUNIT', "#", 1000, 1000)
studyAreaGrid = arcpy.Clip_analysis('in_memory\studyarea_grid', studyarea, arcpy.Polygon)

inputPoints_set = inputPoints.split(';') 

spatialJoin = studyAreaGrid
for pointShp in inputPoints_set:
    spatialJoin = arcpy.SpatialJoin_analysis(spatialJoin, pointShp, arcpy.Polygon, 'JOIN_ONE_TO_ONE', 'KEEP_ALL', '', 'INTERSECT')

fieldNameList = []
fieldObjList = arcpy.ListFields(spatialJoin)
for field in fieldObjList:
    if field.required == False:
        if not field.name.startswith('Join'):

arcpy.DeleteField_management(spatialJoin, fieldNameList)

arcpy.CopyFeatures_management(spatialJoin, outputLocation)

I again tried to use fieldmappings, see code below. It works, meaning that only the Join_Count fields are passed on, but also the order is not the same as the Input order. Why does this happen? Should not fieldmappings work??

for pointShp in inputPoints_set:
    fieldmappings = arcpy.FieldMappings()
    for field in fieldmappings.fields:
        if field.required == False:
            if not field.name.startswith('Join'):
    spatialJoin = arcpy.SpatialJoin_analysis(spatialJoin, pointShp, arcpy.Polygon, 'JOIN_ONE_TO_ONE', 'KEEP_ALL', fieldmappings, 'INTERSECT')

closed as too broad by PolyGeo Sep 17 '16 at 9:01

Please edit the question to limit it to a specific problem with enough detail to identify an adequate answer. Avoid asking multiple distinct questions at once. See the How to Ask page for help clarifying this question. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • Have you looked into Field Mappings? It lets you define fields to retain, as well as field names, when geoprocessing operations, including Spatial Join, are performed. – Barbarossa Feb 15 '16 at 15:59
  • Yes, and I tried to do it with field mappings, but it did not work, I posted also my code, but with no response (gis.stackexchange.com/questions/180425/…). If one is not using field mappings, is it then possible that it comes to the above mentioned problems? Or shouldn't that happen, right? – the_chimp Feb 15 '16 at 18:27
  • Why not merge all the points into a single feature class with a category field, then do your work? Why grid? Join poly to points, frequency by point type and polygon attribute? – Ben S Nadler Feb 15 '16 at 19:06
  • I cannot use the frequency tool, as I only have the basic ArcView license. I use the grid, because I do not need the whole polygon shapefile, but 1000x1000m units. – the_chimp Feb 16 '16 at 5:35
  • Frequency functionality is easily obtained with the Basic level license by using Summary Statistics with a case field instead. – PolyGeo Feb 16 '16 at 5:47