I have point features with coordinates, but some of those points have multiple observations at the same coordinate. I put those as a count column in the attribute table. But now I need to do a spatial join to count the number of points in polygons, but I need those points that have high counts to be included in the spatial join count of number of points in each polygon.

Just to clarify: The attribute table consists of multiple species at multiple coordinates. But for some of those records there were many individuals of the same species at that coordinate so that info was inputted as a count column for each observation. Some counts go up to 10000 individuals. I was initially thinking to just copy the record and paste it as a separate record for the number of counts there are but that takes too long.

  • 1
    Do you need the highest count value or sum of count values? For example, you have two points and one polygon. Points are within the polygon. count values of points are 5 and 3, which means point1 has 5 observations and point2 has 3 observations. Now, do you need the highest value (5) or sum of values (8) for each polygons? Jan 31, 2020 at 22:43
  • It would be the total count.
    – Yara
    Feb 2, 2020 at 20:31

1 Answer 1


I assume that your data looks like below. And you need to add the total count of observations to containing polygon features as a new field.

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In this case, you can use Spatial Join tool.

  • When you select Point layer as Join Features, tou'll see field names of Point layer. Right click count field. Select Sum as merge rule.

  • Remove other fields if you don't need them.

  • In your case, you can select one of INTERSECT, CONTAINS or COMPLETELY_CONTAINS as match option.

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