I have a question about joining data points (with a large amount of information) with shapefiles in ArcGIS Desktop:

  • I have imported a CSV file into GIS. This CSV File is quite large: each row contains roughly 75 columns. As such, each row in the CSV file contains quite a bit of information. I was able to create an "Events" layer with the CSV document and display the information visually as a series of data points in GIS (each row of the CSV document has latitude and longitude coordinates to make this possible).
  • It is my goal to spatially-join the data points with the polygon shapefile that that they fall inside of (please see the picture below). For a bit of reference the polygon is an island and the data point describes information regarding that island. Unfortunately GIS does not allow for this to happen because there is no OBJECT_ID attached to the data points. Additionally, exporting the data to create a new layer does not work because the amount of information is too large!

enter image description here

Any thoughts on how to overcome this issue?

I am quite new to GIS.


You would need to follow this workflow:

  1. Create a feature class from .csv file. The OBJECTID column will be added automatically to the output feature class; the source .csv file doesn't need to have this column.

You should be fine creating a feature class from a .csv file (millions of rows is not a problem and I guess you have fewer.) File geodatabase feature class can have up to 655,346 fields, so your 75 fields won't be a problem either. If you would need to convert your .csv file into a shapefile, the shapefiles can have max 255 columns, again no problem.

  1. Run Spatial Join geoprocessing tool on your point feature class and the polygon feature class transferring the attributes in the direction desired.
  • Alex, thanks for the help- I really appreciate it! Just to confirm, I should spatially join the my existing island polygon (from the picture) with the created point shape file (not the layer).
    – Zach
    Jul 24 '17 at 22:32
  • That's right. Once you created a feature class, you would use it in the Spatial Join. Jul 25 '17 at 10:00

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