I am new at using ArcGIS 9.3.1 and am having trouble joining data. I have a shapefile of census tract polygons and a separate file of points that are crimes in Chicago in 2010. The crime points were part of a separate Excel file that I uploaded and converted into a point shapefile.

I now am trying to see how many of the crimes occurred within each census tract but when I try to do "join" it gives me the error: Can't create output feature class.

Why am I getting this?

Is there another way to do this?

I've tried everything I can find on the internet.

2 Answers 2


I'm not sure what join method you used, however since you have two GIS layers I would suggest for you to use Spatial Join.

  1. Target feature should be your crime point layer
  2. Once data set is joined, you can summarize the census tract name field (within the point feature table) to get the crime count per census tract

What is the output feature class that you are trying to create? I would say that you are probably trying to write to a location that does not exist or that you do not have write access to.

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