I want to add event data to a geographical map. I have district shapefiles for Zimbabwe that I downloaded from GIS.

However I now want to add my own data on to it. How do I do this?

I have added datafile and have a table. When I join the data to the table for the shapefile it does not show the results correctly.

However if I join the shapefile to the data table it does input correctly - but this means that I can not do any data tests as the correct table is not on the shapefile.

Sorry this is unclear I am new to GIS

  • You need to clarify a couple of things for us first. What are you trying to add? What is the table you are trying to join? Does your shapefile and table have a similar field to join by? – Adam Kara Mar 28 '16 at 12:06
  • So I am trying to add a table with 4 columns one of which is a similar field ie they are both the names of constituencies. However I want to add data about the consituencies so how much violence took place in each one, there are therefore multiple results for the constiuency (shape) on the shape file ie repeated name and it does not add this on shape file. However if I join the shape file data to the database data it adds correctly to each multiple result – DURJI Mar 28 '16 at 12:10
  • You are trying to do a many to one join (many table records to one geographic feature, e.g. table records "test", "test", "test" to geographic feature "test")? – artwork21 Mar 28 '16 at 12:17
  • Yes! - didn't know how to phrase it. I just want to be able to add my data to each constituency and then do a gradient data results to show where violence occured – DURJI Mar 28 '16 at 12:20
  • Please do not continue adding information in comments. Edit your question and help us understand. Also go to help and look at how to ask. – Brad Nesom Mar 28 '16 at 13:14

Joining many table records to one geographic feature is not useful cartographically in GIS, since you would need the same number of overlapping geographic features (e.g. polygons on top of polygons) to capture all the many table like records. I would recommend cleaning up your tabular data more (summarizing and re-formatting) and then joining that updated table to your geographic layer so you have a one to one join/relationship.

  • But would I then be able to do the tests I wanted? – DURJI Mar 28 '16 at 12:47
  • I'm not sure how your table data is formatted, but if you have many same name records in the table you will need to re-format in a way so you have one unique name with all the related attributes (adding more columns, splitting it out into separate tables by some classification...etc). – artwork21 Mar 28 '16 at 12:54

As far as I could understand your question, you can follow following methods:

1) You need to have similar field in your current and existing data set. If needed, keep their heads same. The following link gives basics on how to join spread sheet with existing data:


2) You can use the following link to calculate the centroids for your constituencies:


after you do so, add the data and perform "spatial Join": ArcToolbox --> Analysis Tools --> Overlay --> Spatial Join

Hope this solves your issue.

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