Ok so... I am working on a project that is looking at the regional public transportation within my area and comparing it to the overlapping road systems. I want to display the different attributes that these routes run on to give recommendations as to what kind of development should go in certain areas. So the attributes that would be in play would be speed, sidewalk access, bike lane access, as well as a couple of other things.

I have created the shapefile of the routes and I am going to compare them to the ISRN shapefile that I got from DOT. How would I go about taking these ISRN attributes and moving them over the shapefiles that I have created as well as the bike paths and sidewalks.


You have a few options available to you. As user20459 mentioned, you could perform a spatial join. This "joins attributes from one feature to another based on the spatial relationship. The target features and the joined attributes from the join features are written to the output feature class."

Alternatively, you could look at some of the other Overlay tools that are available. These will vary depending on your license level of ArcGIS. Maybe Union, Intersect, or Identity will be of use to you.

However, you mentioned that you want to compare the shapefiles. Perhaps you want to have a look at the Feature Compare tool which "compares two feature classes or layers and returns the comparison results. Feature Compare can report differences with geometry, tabular values, spatial reference, and field definitions."

I don't think Linear Referencing is what you need in this case, as PolyGeo mentioned. This is for determining where things occur along a linear route.

  • The basic idea of Linear Referencing is determining where things occur along linear routes but check out Overlay Route Events which Overlays two event tables to create an output event table that represents the union or intersection of the input. The other solutions may work too but don't rule out Linear Referencing if they fall short of the requirements. – PolyGeo Jul 26 '13 at 9:51

You can do a spatial join to combine the features and attributes. This will produce a new output file so your original data is not altered.

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