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I run into this problem a lot. I have two polyline's and I need to test for Spatial differences in them. Usually I use Erase and I have my answer, but on this PC I now only have access to ArcGIS Basic license.

I have found ways to do this by creating a temporary copy of the files and doing some editing, but there has to be a better way!

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    Did you look at the Feature Compare tool? – johns Aug 26 '13 at 15:15
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    Are you able to provide a diagram/link for what you mean by "spatial difference"? – PolyGeo Sep 21 '13 at 21:33
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You could export the nodes from each polyline and calculate the spatial different for each node to the corresponding node. This would give you numbers that you could then do a range of stats on.

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