I am fairly new to GIS and I am using ArcGIS Desktop 10.4.

The wildlife monitoring company I work for uses camera pods to sample fisheries population and uses side scan sonar to collect habitat data. Together this data is entered into ArcMap and analyzed for further study where Camera Sites = point and Habitat = Polygon.

What I want to do for each camera site (point) is create a buffer (50 meters). After creating a buffer I would like to calculate how much area (sq. meters) of what type of habitat fall within each buffer.

To do this I have:

  1. Created a buffer around Camera sites
  2. Performed an Intersect between Buffer and Habitat layers

Originally I had 184 records (184 camera sites). After I run the Intersect I have close to 700 records resulting in many rows for each camera site. This makes sense because there is often more than one polygon per habitat type within each buffer

Reference = Camera Site

Below is an example of the resulting attribute table where Reference = GMM120304501:

What I want is to have one line for each camera site showing area for each habitat. To do this I used the Pivot Table tool to make Geoforms column headings and the Area_50 field to fill the values.

The Pivot table result is below. My issue is that there are multiple lines for individual camera sites.

Example image of my issue where Reference is same as above ex. (GMM120304501). enter image description here

Is there a way to Merge these values in the table above based on Reference and have the habitat types add together into one row?

Once this problem is resolved I plan on repeating the process with 3 buffers total and joining all the tables together based on the Reference Field.

  • 1
    In general, I prefer to use the software that is best for a particular task - so I will use ArcGIS for the geospatial component, then export to csv and switch to statistical software like Pandas, R, Excel, etc. to calculate averages or reshape or treat the tabular data, then rejoin the calculated results back to geometries in ArcGIS. I find that while many things are possible in ArcGIS, working with tabular data is clunky.
    – Alexander
    Commented Nov 29, 2017 at 15:15

2 Answers 2


If you have the Spatial Analyst extension available you can run the Tabulate Area tool using your buffer feature as the zone data and your habitat feature as the class data.

If Spatial Analyst is not available you can summarize your pivot table by the Reference field and choose sum as the statistic for all the habitat fields.

You should get the same results using both methods, but the Tabulate Area tool will do it in fewer steps.


You can use the Dissolve tool to aggregate features.

Set the Disolve_Field to the field you wish to join values by, in this case Reference, and in the optional Statistics Field add the fields you want to summarise and how, for example add Habitat and set the Statistic Type to sum.

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