In MapInfo we can easily compare two files on the basis of sql query where map info works on rows. You need to update only latitude and longitude and create points on the basis of lat/longs in both the two files.

Now run a sql query in MapInfo -

Where Fileone.obj intersect file2.obj and file1.floodattribute1 = file2.floodattribute2 = Output

will give you all the matching records just invert selection and you will get only change areas either on spatial or attribute level.

Can similar activity done in ArcGIS?

  • HI... Both files correspond same location?
    – Ade'l
    Sep 27, 2016 at 14:01
  • Yes, Both files are of same county and has same locations and has similar columns with same name while on few locations attributes would be change and on some locations geometry would be different. I want to detect all those records in a single query which are either having change in attributes or in geometry. Sep 27, 2016 at 14:34

1 Answer 1


You can get your desired result via:

  1. Make a spatial join of both the files.
  2. Add a field to this new file and make a query of fields where they're not equal to one another, i-e field1 <> field2. You can now populate this field with any comment you like.

This should give you exactly what you require.

  • There is some problem with this method, As the number of attributes are not same in both the files even it's giving all the records in spatial join. It should give a single output for my both the queries of spatial as well as attribute difference. The problem is I am getting a single file by simple query in map info but in arc gis no similar method available I guess? Sep 27, 2016 at 15:03
  • what file types are you using? one having lesser attributes than other should not matter in majority of cases.
    – Ade'l
    Sep 28, 2016 at 6:50
  • I am using Shape files, Is there any way in arc GIS to compare two shape files on the basis of attribute as well as spatial changes as we have in map info(mentioned above)? Can it's SQL query work on two tables simultaneously without joining? Sep 28, 2016 at 7:21
  • you can try Feature compare tool in data management: resources.esri.com/help/9.3/arcgisdesktop/com/gp_toolref/… or you can also use "union" tool, the resultant file will let you make an SQL query.
    – Ade'l
    Sep 28, 2016 at 7:41
  • While using feature compare it gives only report kind of thing and tells how many geometry differs in both files, Like file1 has 5402 records and file2 has 5500 records and so on. The result is still not as I want. I guess at this part arc GIS cannot work as map info can do !!!!! Sep 28, 2016 at 8:04

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