I have a dataset of points representing solar parks, also these points contain data on the year the solar park was developed. Now I would like to know the distance of these solar parks to the nearest solar park at the time it was developed.

I know how to get the distance between nearest points, but I would like to add a criteria based on the field "year developed". So that I dont get the distance to the nearest point, but to the nearest point with a value for "year developed" lower (earlier in time) than the point the distance is calculated from.

In short, I need to calculate distance to nearest point with a value for "year developed" < than value for designated point.

Does anyone know how to do this using ArcMap 10.3?

  • Welcome to GIS SE! We're a little different from other sites; this isn't a discussion forum but a Q&A site. Please check out our short tour to learn about our focussed Q&A format. How do you "get the distance between nearest points" when not including your time constraint? Once we know where you are up to in this workflow we will be in a better position to try and help. I think that you will need to use ArcPy if there are lots of solar parks and lots of different times that they were developed.
    – PolyGeo
    May 6, 2019 at 22:44

1 Answer 1


Add another layer to ArcMap for your Solar Parks and set a query definition on that layer (right-click layer -> Properties -> Query Definition). Define the query definition something like:

YearDeveloped < 2006

(This assumes the 'YearDeveloped' field is a number, not a string nor a date.)

Then use this layer as the input for your proximity test (you say that you already "know how to get the distance between nearest points", so I won't elaborate further on this).

If you need the new point to be in the same layer as the old points, and the new point is newer than the test year, then create a second layer (with just the new point), and then merge the two layers into a new feature class. This way, the new feature class will have only points that are older than the test year PLUS the new point. Use this new feature class as the input for your proximity test.

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