I am as rookie as they come in this space. I have a large list of addresses and longitude latitude points for different locations within a state. What is the easiest and most efficient way to determine the respective census tract number for each address? Over 50,000 addresses and I just want to pull in the tract into excel for each

Right now it is just one single data set. I can manually look up the address in some third party systems, but that process is extremely inefficient. I also don't know how to use arc gis but I've tried valiantly to import the data points into the map, then layer the census tract map over that. Unfortunately, I don't know if there is a way to merge those two sets of data then export from ArcGIS back into the spreadsheet?

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    Welcome to GIS SE! As a new user please take the Tour to learn about our format. What have you tried? Please edit your question to include details on what you've tried, also a description of the different datasets you are using.
    – Midavalo
    Commented Oct 15, 2016 at 22:50

1 Answer 1


If you have both layers in ArcGIS, use the spatial join tool to capture the census tract attribute to each address point. The address point will be the 'Target Features' and the census tracts will be the 'Join Features'. Use the 'JOIN_ONE_TO_ONE' Join Operation.

This will output a feature class of the addresses including the attributes from the census tracts.

  • Sorry for the late response here. I tried this but am getting an error that says "Must be Owner to perform this operation". Do you know what causes this error and how I can fix it. There are just two sets of data in ARCGiS my address data which is properly mapped then the census tract data which is pulled from ARCGiS templates Commented Nov 13, 2016 at 14:47
  • It sounds like you're using a service, like a WMS. You won't be able to edit any data from a service. You need to export your data to a location where you can edit it (like your harddrive).
    – jbalk
    Commented Nov 14, 2016 at 3:50

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