I am a novice when it comes to python. I am working on creating a new field that has the distance between two sets of x & y values.

I've joined two tables so I have each of their x y values in the same table. I am using field calculator in ArcMap trying to format this equation and for the life of me cannot figure it out. I'm not using the codeblock, is this necessary? I have been attempting to get the results to compute for days. I've gotten a few different errors. I'm wondering if its an error stemming from the function I'm using I've looked through the forums and can't find an answer.

So far what I have is:
This is the expression I am attempting to use:


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  • 2
    Your title says you're using VBScript, but the code says Python. I'd use a Python function, define dx and dy, then use return math.sqrt(dx*dx + dy*dy)
    – Vince
    Apr 7, 2023 at 17:40
  • Hey Vince, my mistake. I am using python. I'll give that a shot!
    – JTstone
    Apr 7, 2023 at 17:42
  • Use "join field" instead of "add join" and math.hypot(x1-x2, y2-y1). This will make expression easier to type, less errors
    – FelixIP
    Apr 7, 2023 at 20:36
  • I greatly appreciate all of your input. I am still struggling. When using field calculator, should I be defining these variables in the pre-logic script code? Or should I be able to just plug in the fields as necessary in the expression? Thanks again
    – JTstone
    Apr 10, 2023 at 18:40
  • 1
    No need in a block. Just replace x1,x2... by relevant !point_x!, !point_x1!...
    – FelixIP
    Apr 10, 2023 at 20:31

1 Answer 1



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arcpy.JoinField_management(in_data="SET_A", in_field="J_FIELD", join_table="SET_B", join_field="J_FIELD", fields="POINT_X;POINT_Y")
arcpy.AddField_management(in_table="SET_A", field_name="DISTANCE", field_type="DOUBLE", field_precision="", field_scale="", field_length="", field_alias="", field_is_nullable="NULLABLE", field_is_required="NON_REQUIRED", field_domain="")

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arcpy.XYToLine_management(in_table="SET_A", out_featureclass="in_memory/LINES", startx_field="POINT_X", starty_field="POINT_Y", endx_field="POINT_X_1", endy_field="POINT_Y_1", line_type="GEODESIC", id_field="J_FIELD", spatial_reference="PROJCS['NZGD_2000_New_Zealand_Transverse_Mercator',GEOGCS['GCS_NZGD_2000',DATUM['D_NZGD_2000',SPHEROID['GRS_1980',6378137.0,298.257222101]],PRIMEM['Greenwich',0.0],UNIT['Degree',0.0174532925199433]],PROJECTION['Transverse_Mercator'],PARAMETER['False_Easting',1600000.0],PARAMETER['False_Northing',10000000.0],PARAMETER['Central_Meridian',173.0],PARAMETER['Scale_Factor',0.9996],PARAMETER['Latitude_Of_Origin',0.0],UNIT['Meter',1.0]];-4020900 1900 1000;-100000 10000;-100000 10000;0.002;0.001;0.001;IsHighPrecision")

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  • Thank you!!! I appreciate everyone's input. This worked for me. Just for clarification, could this have been done the original way I was working on it? By using the square root function?
    – JTstone
    Apr 11, 2023 at 15:41
  • 1
    Yes, because square root and hypot are identical functions.
    – FelixIP
    Apr 11, 2023 at 19:42
  • Thanks so much for your help!
    – JTstone
    Apr 12, 2023 at 18:50

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