I am currently working in ArcGIS 10.2.2 for Desktop and would like to know if there is a workflow for creating a unique ID for polygons within a shapefile based on their location. I am using data driven pages that are clipped to individual Township/Range/Sections of a city. There is polygon information that spans the entire city, but would like to create some type of unique identifier that allows users (of the exported attribute table) to quickly see where a polygon is located based on the identifier. What I currently have in mind is to list the Township/Range/Section and add a numeric suffix. For example, in the image below the first polygon in Township26-Range42-Section27 (highlighted in red) would be 26-42-27-1. The Township/Range/Section information is saved in another shapefile, so I am not sure the best process to append that info to the individual polygons within this other shapefile based on location.

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  • I was going to suggest gis.stackexchange.com/questions/155022/… to create your index feature class but it looks like you already have that. Consequently I think you just need to use the Intersect tool to intersect the feature class you want to index with your index feature class. That will transfer the key field from your index feature class.
    – PolyGeo
    Commented Feb 22, 2016 at 22:50

1 Answer 1


I agree with PolyGeo; if you do use the intersect tool that will provide you with a basis to at least link your data together. You would then want to make a new field and use the field calculator with something like this: [RangeInfo]&"-"&[FID] where [RangeInfo] is whatever field has your T/R/S info. If you have access to SQL Server or other spatial database, as spatial query could also be used to move the information from your one layer to the other as part of an update query.

  • In it's current state, this is more appropriate as a comment on the question. I'd recommend re-wording and adding more detail if you keep this as an answer.
    – Adam
    Commented Feb 23, 2016 at 0:11
  • @Adam with less than 50 rep this answerer will not be able to comment on other than their own posts More detail would be great but I think there is already enough content to qualify as an answer.
    – PolyGeo
    Commented Feb 23, 2016 at 0:32
  • i stand corrected
    – Adam
    Commented Feb 23, 2016 at 0:33
  • Thanks user# - the field calculator prompts were very helpful for reference. Commented Feb 23, 2016 at 1:00

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