I'm using the 'Create Feature Class > From XY Table' tool in Arc Catalog, but have many data sets and would like to batch this process.

enter image description here

Is there an ArcMap Toolbox tool that will accomplish the same task? (Or a way to batch the task in Catalog?)

2 Answers 2


you need to use one of the toolbox tools to run in batch processing. However, the existing toolbox tool creates a layer, not a feature class. Therefore you must create your own model that combines "Make XY event layer" and "Copy" tools. Define the input data as a parameter of your model, close the model, right-click on it and ask for "batch". Alternatively, you can do this in a python script.

import arcpy,glob

for mycsv in glob.glob(path_to_csv/*.csv):
    arcpy.MakeXYEventLayer_management (mycsv, in_x_field, in_y_field, mycsv.split("/")[-1][:-4]+ "_lyr") #replace in_x_field and in_y_field with relevant field names
    arcpy.Copy(mycsv("/")[-1][:-4]+ "_lyr", mycsv[:-4]+ ".shp")

You can batch run tools in the toolbox by right clicking the tool and selecting run batch process.

An alternative would be to run the process in the Model builder. Drag your datasets into the model builder window, including the Create XY TOOLBOX. I can't recall but the output from this tool might be temporary, so the Copy Feature tool might be needed to make the shapefile / feature permanent.

Another option would be to write a python tool to cycle through the folder with the csv files and create the features. Unfortunately I do not have the skill set to provide you with the code, but an internet search will definitely give you hundreds of code snippets to alter to your needs.

  • In my example, there is no right click menu as the function is in an Arc Catalog menu, not a Toolbox Tool. From your answer, I found the Create XY tool, but as you mentioned it doesn't actually save anything to disk so to batch it a Model would be needed. Dec 20, 2017 at 7:00
  • If you look in arc toolbox in catalog you can search for create xy event layer. It might not be called that exactly, perhaps search in the tools for "xy". Right click that tool, not the data. I am not at my pc right now, but that is where I thinking would be a good start. Dec 20, 2017 at 7:03

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.