I am trying to find ways to join existing polygon feature layer with new data. For example, Esri has a living atlas reference layer for US state boundaries: https://www.arcgis.com/home/item.html?id=99fd67933e754a1181cc755146be21ca

This layer also has some population data for each state. I want to create a new polygon feature layer that is essentially a fork of this one. I then want to add some data - in this case, voter turnout data for each state. That data comes in excel format here (source http://www.electproject.org). Once I have a copy of the states polygon feature layer with the new election data, I can create some nice visualizations. I am trying to create a 2020 version of this feature layer: US Voter Turnout 2016. But I am having a hard time figuring out how to create and serve a layer from my own account that is a fork of that initial layer, and then add to it.

I have tried going into the Content section of arcgis online, hitting 'create', and creating a feature layer from an existing URL, using the arcgis server URL of the states boundaries item. When I go through the form and hit 'Done', I get this error:

Unable to add feature service definition. The operation failed because an index or statistics with name 'insights_fl_tauCNbQYU1nWzn8S' already exists on table 'user_72472.lklklkj_USA_STATES_GENERALIZED'.

I have also tried going into the original boundaries layer, and exporting the data to an excel file. Then I can add my new data as new columns. Then when trying to create a new layer, I go to create a new Polygon FeatureLayer. I hit 'Update Data', and then 'Append Data to Layer'. I try to upload the excel file, but it gives the error: No compatible layer was found in the uploaded file. Please check your file and try again.

I feel like this should be relatively simple to do but I'm struggling to find a way, or any documentation on how to do this.

  • Hello @Seth Lutske, Do you have access to the desktop app, ArcMap or ArcGIS Pro maybe? Nov 9, 2020 at 21:18
  • I do have access to Pro, but I don't have much experience with it. But I'd be willing to dig in and make this a learning project if you know a way it can be done with Pro. Nov 9, 2020 at 22:13

1 Answer 1

  • Export and download the data as a shapefile enter image description here

  • Add the shapefile in ArcGIS pro and use the Add join Tool to make a join based on States name, from the ArcGIS Online layer and the election table

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  • Once the join is successful share the layer as a web layer and use it in ArcGIS Online enter image description here
  • This worked great! There were a few extra steps I had to take, but it worked. Follow up question: Would an add-join work if the data being added is not 1 to1? Meaning, if I had a new dataset with multiple rows for the same state (say different values for different dates for a time-aware layer), would the join still work? Nov 12, 2020 at 5:19

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