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Have shapefiles for provinces in several countries in an Asian region, but currently trying to plug in animal population data for each province with graduated symbols displayed the data. Am trying to work off a Microsoft Excel Chart that I have made with the data (basically with one row for provinces and the other row for populations)- however, importing via a delimited text layer isn't working. I'm pretty new to GIS, and am wondering if there as an elementary error I am making - do I need to enter vector data for each province in my excel file before these will display? Is there an easy way to elicit this from the shapefile(s) that I have that display the provinces in the country?

Thank you so much for your time - I'm trying to learn this as well as I can!

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Try reformatting the file so it's columns instead of rows (im assuming this is how the attribute data is organised in the Shapefile?) make sure the field names:

  • Don't contain spaces
  • Are less than 64 characters
  • Special characters (stick to letters)

Arc doesn't like these.

Now what you want to do here is use the 'Add Join' function (located in the Data Management toolbox) to link the Excel Spreadsheet table to your Shapefile. The tool will add animal population data to the shapefile attribute table, assuming that the you join by country names and the country names match up exactly.

I would explain how to use the tool but i think the official documentation will do a better job than me! : http://webhelp.esri.com/arcgisdesktop/9.2/index.cfm?TopicName=Add_Join_%28Data_Management%29

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