I have on a spatial join issue : I need to perform a spatial join from a building shapefile to a grid feature class (200 * 200 meter). The spatial join needs to compute the sum of each attribute per tile.

More precisely, i have several attribute (income, surfaces, number of people per buildind, ages, children and so on). The aim is that each building within a tile has to be concatenate. For example, if within a tile, there is 2 buildings, one of 60 m² and the other is 40 m², the result of the tile in the field surface must be 100 m².

Does someone know how to solve this problem ?

  • What geometry type is your shapefile, and I would recommend learning some SQL spatial and using DBManager to intersect your data using ST_Intersects() function Sep 11, 2017 at 15:09

2 Answers 2


It's the french INSEE grid, isn't it ?

The method your are looking for is with an Intersect tool type.

The following doesn't exactly answer your question, but i'll give you the method I use on this specific data :

  • I first transform buidings into real centroids (to avoid centroids being outside the buildings). Having points will avoid having a building cut in half on two cells.

  • Then attribute a simple unique ID to your grid cells by creating a UID field (INSEE naming is useless)

  • Use a "join attribute by location" Tool to get the UID in the centroid layer.

  • Join the building layer and the centroid layer by their common unique id (BD TOPO type id looks like "BATIMENT0000000221921558") and update the cell UID in a new field of your building layer (CELL_ID for example).

  • You will then be able to use the cell ID to get to the source values (like the population number) or group the buildings by cell id. You can for example create in Excel a simple pivot table (tableau croisé dynamique) to get the total surface for each cell of your grid.


I finally used the intersect tool (on arcgis) with sum as output field properties, and it's perfectly working.

(It was indeed the INSEE grid, good job ;) ! )

  • I changed a bit your question so it's not software oriented, as you tagged qgis when your asked earlier and answer now with arcgis. For site usage, you should rather thank people in the comment area and if necessary, add another answer like you did when you found yourself the solution. If an answer is useful to you, you can upvote it. If one of the answer is the right answer in your opinion, you can tick the V button next to the answer to say your question has found an answer. It will then appear in green in the list. Be careful not to duplicate questions to avoid the question being closed.
    – gisnside
    Sep 12, 2017 at 4:16
  • Thanks for the explanation, I am new to this forum, so i didn't knew exactly how it works.
    – DspXav
    Sep 13, 2017 at 15:30
  • Actually, it's not really a forum so rules can seem a bit strange. Make sure you have made the tour and read How to Ask and How to Answer pages. You can thank people in comment if you want. You can upvote questions or answers you think are well done or that helped you. You will soon have some rep points too if you follow those rules :) Later you will be able to edit questions and answers like a wiki (see what i've done to your answer)
    – gisnside
    Sep 13, 2017 at 16:31

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