I have basic license level of ArcGIS 10.1, and near distance tool is not available with it. Can anyone please suggest of another similar purpose tool, under basic license, to get distance of one polygon from another polygon or any workaround?

  • What file or database source are you using? If oracle or postgres you can do queries for feature to feature distances without ArcGIS.
    – Mapperz
    Jun 5, 2013 at 19:52
  • I am using *.shp files created within ArcGIS.
    – Ibe
    Jun 5, 2013 at 20:06
  • 1
    Have you reviewed this previous question? It should offer a way to get distances between points converted from polygon vertices to identify how far the nearest vertices of two polygons are to each other. Alternatively, check out the CLOSEST match_option of Spatial Join which may or may not meet your precise requirements.
    – PolyGeo
    Jun 5, 2013 at 22:04

3 Answers 3


You can do this using arcpy geometry objects and cursors. Each of PointGeometry, Polyline, and Polygon have a distanceTo(other geometry) method.


You could use the Point Distance tool from ET Geowizard, however you would have to convert the from polygon layer to a point centroid or point feature class first.

  • Thanks. Although I was looking for something within ArcGIS framework, but this will do it as an alternative.
    – Ibe
    Jun 10, 2013 at 10:13
  • @lbe, thanks comments are not necessary, instead you may up vote helpful answers.
    – artwork21
    Jun 10, 2013 at 11:44
  • Bear in mind if your input layer has more than 100 features, you will need to register.
    – MyFamily
    Jan 13, 2015 at 17:10

I know this can be done in R, but am not yet sure how. Different packages exist for doing it between points and (points, lines, polygons). This one does points to line, for example.

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