Let's say I have two point layers that contain locations of wells on a property.

  • layer A has 50 points.
  • layer B has 35 points.

Some of layer B's points already exist on layer A, and some of them do not.

What do you guys think would be the best way to go about removing any redundancy and creating a newly compiled layer?

Is there a pre-built tool for this I am unaware of?

  • Is this a case where Layer B represents an update of just a portion of Layer A's points? You should consider assigning a unique ID to each well and referencing that ID for each new sample so that you don't need to rely on the point positions exclusively, especially if Layer B is really only updating attribute data. May 4, 2016 at 15:53
  • Merge and find identica
    – FelixIP
    May 4, 2016 at 19:41

3 Answers 3


Super easy manual process. You use the tool Select by Location.

  1. Export all points in B to a new layer C
  2. Select points in A that match B.
  3. "Switch" the selection in A. You now have selected all the points in A that are not in B.
  4. Append those selected A points to your C layer.

The C layer now contains all points that are in both A & B, uniquely in A, and uniquely in B.

I simplified the steps down to just 4 steps, you get the same results

  • Ever use the "Find Identical" tool? It only works on one layer, but layers B and A could be added together to make layer C and the tool run on either chosen field or off location which is determined by xy tolerances. I just found out about this tool and was curious if maybe you've tried it. May 4, 2016 at 16:43
  • Yes I have, and that is definitely another option, I just didn't want to get into explaining all the other steps after using that you would need to perform to use the outputs.
    – alexGIS
    May 4, 2016 at 17:21

You can do a Selection by Location. If the points are in the exact same spot, setting your tolerance to zero would only give you results on top of each other. If they are approximate, you will need to adjust that tolerance to figure out which ones are duplicates. You can then either delete the duplicates and use that layer or take the unique points from each feature and make a new layer.


There is another method that you can do :

Before you do, Make a backup of your layer in case if it becomes corrupt. You should be able to do the following:

If you are doing a few then do this:

Start Editing. Click on the Attributes Use the "Edit Tool " Drag over all of the points or a point. On the Attributes, See if there are two overlaps. If you see two overlaps, delete the ones you wanted.

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