Is there a tool to join by interest and then for those that are not joined, join by nearest - all in one calculation? If not, maybe this is a valid feature request, to combine these two tools together instead of having to run then separately?

  • 2
    isn't an intersecting feature also the nearest one?
    – JGH
    Mar 22, 2022 at 21:00
  • That was my thought also. The intersection is somewhat redundant, unless a one-to-many relationship is desired.
    – Matt
    Mar 22, 2022 at 21:05
  • Apologies for lack in clarification with the software; was thinking of QGIS. @JGH - wasn't aware of that "Intersecting feature also the nearest one". Mar 25, 2022 at 12:05

1 Answer 1


I do not think there are direct tool. However there are approaches that solve this.

there are 2 approaches:

  • utilise model builder in ArcGIS or QGIS, create your own tool, use the if conditional and everything. It is a GUI drag and drop algorithm builder and it is quite intuitive as long as you have those process back in mind.
  • use python Geopandas, define the interest in a function (by distance? intersect? touches? etc...), and use spatial join by nearest.
  • this is great, I actually never knew about the model builder. The alternative with Python is also a great answer, thank you! Mar 25, 2022 at 12:06

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