I am having some difficulty conceptualizing how the code should work for a custom ArcPy Script tool. Currently our work flow involves QA/QC and taking a csv file and joining it to a feature class. From there we calculate each field individually based on the values in the csv. This takes a tremendous amount of time. I am trying to automate this with a script. I am looking to create a tool allows one input (the csv file) and the tool will read the csv, join it to the feature class and then populates the fields automatically. I would also like to have some errors thrown if there is not able to join/calculate etc. I am not sure how this should flow.

import arcpy
import csv

def bringincsv(csv):
  with open(arcpy.GetParameterAsText(0), "rb") as csv:
   reader = csv.reader(csv, delimiter=",")
  for row in reader:
   facilityid = str(row[0])
   diameter = double(row[1])
   hyperlink_cctv = string(row[2])
   hyperlink_rpt = string(row[3])

 arcpy.env.workspace = 'CURRENT'
 inspection = arcpy.GetParameterAsText(0)
 arcpy.MakeTableView_management(in_table=inspection, out_view= 'Inspection')
 arcpy.AddJoin_management('Memphis.GIS.ssGravityMain', 'FACILITYID', 
 'Inspection', facilityid, 'KEEP_COMMON')

arcpy.CalculateField_management('Memphis.GIS.ssGravityMain', diameter, ##The 
csv files diameter)
arcpy.CalculateField_management('Memphis.GIS.ssGravityMain', hyperlink_cctv, 
 ##The csv files values)
 arcpy.CalculateField_management('Memphis.GIS.ssGravityMain', hyperlink_rpt, 
 ##The csv files values)
  • The structure of the csv:s are always the same, same columns etc.?
    – BERA
    May 8, 2018 at 13:11
  • Yes, the .csv will always be the same.
    – Wazzy24
    May 8, 2018 at 13:24

1 Answer 1


You can use a dictionary instead of joining them and the da.UpdateCursor instead of three field calculators. I am assuming that the first "column" in the csv is the field to match on.

import arcpy, csv

fc = r"C:\Test\Regions.shp"
idfield = 'IDFIELDNAME'
fields_to_update = ['F1','F2','F3'] #Add/remove fields here

csvfile = r"C:\Test\MoreData.csv"

with open(csvfile, mode='r',) as infile:
    reader = csv.reader(infile, delimiter=';') #Change delimiter to match your csv
    reader.next() #Skip header
    d = {r[0]:r[1:] for r in reader}

with arcpy.da.UpdateCursor(fc, fields_to_update) as cursor:
    for row in cursor:
        if row[-1] in d:
            row[0], row[1], row[2] = d[row[-1]] #Add/remove to match field count
            print '{0} not found in csv, no update'.format(row[-1])

You can Place all this in a function with feature class and csv as inputs if you want to.

  • Thanks for the quick response. I am not sure if this will work. I am joining this to a feature class in an SDE geodatabase so I am not sure what the exact path will be to that feature class. I wish it was a regular feature class on my machine but I am in a distributed cloud environment. The .csv file would ideally be browsed to thru the GUI of the script tool. Can you explain what the d = {r[0]:r[1:] for r in reader} line does? What are those indices? I like the idea of using a dictionary instead, that will make it more readable. The first field in the csv is indeed the field to join on.
    – Wazzy24
    May 8, 2018 at 13:53
  • To get the path just copy and paste it from Catalog. That line is Reading each line in the csv, splitting it using indexes into Dictionary key (row[0]) and a list of values (row[1:] = all values except the first). If this is not what you want i will remove my answer.
    – BERA
    May 8, 2018 at 13:59
  • Nice, thanks. I will give this a shot. Will replacing csvfile = "C:\Test\MoreData.csv" with csvfile = arcpy.GetParameterAsText(0) work for reading the csv?
    – Wazzy24
    May 8, 2018 at 14:00
  • Yes, as long as the user browses to a .csv
    – artwork21
    May 8, 2018 at 14:13

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