I'm unsure how to join a table and reference shapefile in order to create a new shapefile. I'm using ArcMap. I made a simplified version example below.

I have a shapefile of points (locations where an indvidual can reside). The points have a unique ID. The points don't have a specified lat/long. I also have a table of individuals. Each individual has a has residence information, in the same form as the point ID. More than one individual can be found at the same point.

I want to create a point shapefile that shows every individual's residence. I know that some of the points will overlap.

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I thought I would have to use the "Add Join" tool, but when I used it, it didn't create a shapefile. Is there some special join tool that will create a new shapefile/table that will hold the point data and the individual data?

I don't know much about geocoding, but would it be useful in this situation? Any other thoughts would be a huge help?

  • Add Join is temporary, to preserve "Add Join" just save the Shapefile to another Shapefile. Right-click the layer, Data, Export Data. Or use "Join Field" which is permanent.
    – klewis
    Commented Jun 8, 2018 at 18:54
  • a) If I understand your question correctly, the values of RESIDENCE and ID match, however there may be more than one match between the two? In which case you're in a one to many join, which doesn't work well as a Join. You can try to add a relationship instead. b) What happened when you tried the add join? Are you able to see any names on the Attribute table?
    – SMiller
    Commented Jun 8, 2018 at 20:17
  • I think this one to many join would work: gis.stackexchange.com/a/177510/104011
    – Joss
    Commented Jun 8, 2018 at 20:22

1 Answer 1


Use the Make Query Table tool. Despite the name, it will create feature classes too!

You'll use it like this, in this case the table is named 'tbl' and the point feature class is 'pnts':

Make Query Table

A few important things:

  • The points layer must be first under 'input tables.' This is what causes the output to be a feature class
  • The expression builder will automatically add double quotes (") to the field names. You'll get an error if you don't remove them.
  • This only creates a layer. You'll want to export the data out to save it permanently.
  • Also, I see you are using shapefiles. I'm not sure if this will work on shapefiles directly; if not you may have to import them into a FGDB.

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