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I am a new user to Arcmap 10. I've been trying to figure out how to compare two polygon shapefiles. I need to figure out what the difference is from 2007 - 2013 (increase/decrease) in a couple of TMK maps.

marked as duplicate by artwork21, PolyGeo, Fezter, Ian Turton May 22 '13 at 12:07

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I have to mention this custom tool. It's called ChangeDetector, and works pretty well in my experience for finding changes between file versions.

It'll output three (or less) shapefiles with new, deleted and unchanged features. It is also possible to define which fields to compare (eg. Shape and/or attribute fields of your choice).

  • (+1) I've not seen that custom tool before and would be interested to see/hear whether its or Feature Compare output is more useful. – PolyGeo May 22 '13 at 6:53
  • That would indeed be interesting, I haven't had the time to compare them myself yet. Might be my next side project :) – Martin May 22 '13 at 7:10
  • This link no longer works, do you have a copy or backup? – DMusketeer Mar 18 '16 at 11:54
  • I do, not sure how to upload it here though. I can send it to you for now, and I'll see if I can find the official page again as soon as I can. Post an e-mail address in a comment and I'll send it to you. – Martin Mar 18 '16 at 14:29

If you have QGIS. try this

  1. Load the two datasets
  2. Vector -> Geoprocessing Tools -> Difference
  3. Select Input layer, Difference layer and Output shapefile

Below is a sample screen of difference tool. enter image description here


I'm going to suggest two things you may be looking for:

  • Feature Compare will "report differences with geometry, tabular values, spatial reference, and field definition"
  • Union "Computes a geometric union of the input features. All features and their attributes will be written to the output feature class." - this will enable you to compare the value of any field from the 2013 shapefile for the same area (intersected polygon) from the 2007 shapefile.

If neither is what you need I recommend that you revise your question to include considerably more detail.

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