I have two shapefiles for district boundaries of India in 2001 and 2020. Because boundary of districts changed over time since districts merge and split, I want to export only those districts (they are polygons in shapefile) that have the same boundaries in both years (or are located within the tolerance distance, e.g. 10km).

I am using ArcMap 10.4.1.

  • the mission is to get the districts from both the layers matching/overlapping 100%?? Commented Nov 24, 2020 at 16:01
  • Yes, exactly. I want to trace only those districts that did not change over time and thus have the same polygons in both shapefiles. (or within tolerance 10 km)
    – Melina
    Commented Nov 25, 2020 at 7:50

1 Answer 1


You could try and merge the datasets into a single dataset then run Find Identical tool?

Before you merge make sure you add a field so that you can identify which dataset they came from.

  • This doesn't work because districts were just placed under a newly formed state. So state name is different in 2 shapefiles for the same district name. That is why i want to do it for polygons because they didn't change, only names changed.
    – Melina
    Commented Nov 25, 2020 at 12:56
  • Find Identical works with the Shape field, not only the attribute fields. This is documented in the Help file.
    – Hornbydd
    Commented Nov 25, 2020 at 22:29

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.