I need to create duplicate features (in this case parcels), using a related table to populate ID fields. In essence, I need to use a related table of parcel owners to create duplicate parcels, each with its own unique ID from the related owner table. The related table already contains the many-to-one link to parcels, I just want to force a one-to-one relationship between the owners and parcels, by creating a duplicate parcel for each owner record.

I'm using ArcGIS Desktop 9.3.1.

  • 2
    Why can't you just join the feature table to the owner table? You'll still get multiple rows per shape (since it'll be a one-to-many relation, feature to owner) which, in essence, means you'll see a "one-to-one" relationship when viewing tabular data. Sep 20, 2010 at 18:47
  • Which software? which version? Sep 20, 2010 at 19:55
  • ArcGIS 9.3.1 I would like to actually duplicate the geometry not just see a 1:1 in the table.
    – Jodi
    Sep 20, 2010 at 22:39
  • Since each polygon would overlay a polygon of the exact same shape, you really won't glean any benefit (that I can think of) from having multiple shapes. Are you doing this for something other than symbolizing features on a map? Sep 20, 2010 at 23:07
  • 1
    Not to be used for symoblizing features. By making duplicate shapes, I want to gain the ability to find the spatial location of a feature in a related table (a reverse or many-to-one, so to speak). And by having duplicate shapes "stacked" on top of eachother, one can use the select or identify tool to capture all records without having to look up records in a related table.
    – Jodi
    Sep 21, 2010 at 1:53

6 Answers 6


I've just done it with our parcel-feature and owner-table.

i made a join on the Parcels to the Owners, and selecting "Keep only matching records" - right after the join - make a "Copy Features" from the ArcToolbox - and it will make duplicates of all parcels where there are owners for it.

It worked for me.... finally...


In ArcMap 10, use the MAKE QUERY TABLE. First, make sure the table and feature class are in the same geodatabase. The MAKE QUERY TABLE tool will create a feature layer so you'll have to use COPY to create a permanent feature class. You can then export this feature class to a shapefile.

  • This appears to be the "right" way to do it if you don't just want a table, but want the polygons duplicated too. If you want a feature layer output, you must add the feature layer first (and don't forget to include "layer.Shape" as a selected variable), and you won't be able to review it unless you copy/export it...but it handles the one-to-many, table-to-polygon join perfectly.
    – o.h
    Jul 10, 2015 at 23:04

We use a spatial view in SDE to achieve a similar result. In our case it is because we have parcels with multiple owners (condos, townhomes, etc.). We import a file into SDE on a nightly basis that contains all of the property owners in the county, each with unique id that relates back to a specific parcel. We create a spatial view using this table and our parcel polygon feature class. The result is a spatial view with stacked parcels, one parcel for each individual owner. When you identify this layer in ArcMap, you get a result for all of the owners. We are at Arc 9.3.1. This layer has been very beneficial for our tax department.

  • Unfortunately, no SDE or INFO available. I'm thinking its not possible in ArcView?
    – Jodi
    Sep 21, 2010 at 17:48
  • With ArcMap you should have a license of ArcSDE that you can wire into SQL Server Express. You should be able to push your parcels feature class and owner table into the database, create your spatial view, and then push it back out again as a shapefile or personal/file geodatabase (unwind the relationship).
    – mwalker
    Oct 21, 2010 at 17:31

Mads Grens answer works perfectly.

  1. You join your owner table to your parcel table with the keep only matching records option enabled.

  2. Use the Copy Features in ArcToolbox (Data Management Tools -> Features) to copy your parcels to a new Feature Class. The new Feature Class contains every parcel one time per owner, meaning that if a parcel has two owners, the parcel will figure two times in the new Feature Class - it is simply dublicated with the Copy Features Tool.

All this you can put in to a Model in Model Builder - You find Add Join under Data Management Tools -> Joins. The Model can then be run every time, that your base data are updated.

  • Excellent! I just tried your method and it works perfectly. Do you know why this works? I am happy that it does, however; I am at a loss for an explanation. I would really like to understand the logic behind operation as it doesn't seem to be documented. Apr 25, 2014 at 16:52
  • Could I just check. Should your 'features' layer be related to the table before joining the table to the 'features'? I've tried both and both don't work.
    – Howeitzer
    Apr 21, 2016 at 14:18

This geoprocessing tool may help if you don't want to get into SQL views - http://aalbs.blogspot.com/2010/02/table-to-feature-class-merger.html

  • This link does not work unless you are "invited to it". -1
    – sparky
    May 22, 2019 at 16:58

Simply select the parcels that you want duplicated (a 'where in' clause would work well) and create a new shapefile of the selection. Merge the two files. Done.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.