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Identity option for Spatial Join

11-07-2022 07:39 AM
Status: Needs Clarification
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New Contributor III

The ability to use the Join in the Spatial Join tool for the fields is awesome. It currently has the ability to intersect underlying data and return multiple features intersected in 1 attribute. It would be a great benefit if there was an option for using an Identity rather that the intersect option for see where non-intersecting areas exist. In the screenshot below it is nice to see what features the tan shape intersects the pink, but it is sometimes required to see where the tan feature is not intersecting anything.



Status changed to: Needs Clarification

You can use the Identity tool to find the geometric intersection between two features and transfer attributes between them. Or you can use the Symmetrical Difference tool to get portions of features that do not overlap.

Could you further explain how what you describe (which sounds more like Symmetrical Difference) could be used with a spatial join? Maybe provide a diagram of the attributes you expect to be transferred between different features and what the output geometry should look like.


@MargaretCrawford I do understand you could use the Identity, Identify, Union, and a number of other tools in conjunction with the Spatial Join to identify which areas do not overlap. I am more looking for the Spatial Join to use an Identify rather than intersect when using the Merge Rule - Join. Below you can see where boxes B and C fall outside of the number boxes. It would be useful to know that they fall out of a spatial join as well. Many situations popup (wetland mapping, biological habitat, survey tracking...) where a "No Value" or "None" is just as important as the intersected areas. For the spatial join it would be useful to include None for example in the image below for box B the join result would be 5,6,None and the result for box C would just be None.


I mainly bring this up since I just found the Merge Type - Join and use it a lot. The Identify option is just something we use a lot and looking to streamline a few of our tools.