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Live functions to calculate geometry like excel

05-26-2022 06:08 AM
Status: Already Offered
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New Contributor III

Can we make an attribute have a function for calculating geometry?  Re-Calculating the Acres field after an edit can lead to data trust issues.  Many people assume that editing the shape of a polygon will automatically update the added Acres field like the SHAPE_Length and SHAPE_Area fileds.  Having the ability to add a live function to the definition of an attribute would decrease the error of forgetting to go back and re-calculate an Acres field.  


I would love to hear how others have solved this issue with GDB design, Domains or workflows.  I was hopeful that the Data Engineering tool would help but I am not seeing it.


The ability to have a column function has been part of Excel and should be available in ArcGIS PRO too.


This is simple enough with Attribute Rules. You can configure an attribute rule to update a field any time the feature is edited.

Status changed to: Already Offered

As @jcarlson noted, this is possible through the use of Attribute Rules. Here is an example maintaining x, y, z Get to the Point: Automatically maintain x,y,z attribute values with ArcGIS Pro and attribute rules 

The same concept can be applied to maintain an Acres field.


I will reiterate what @jcarlson and @KoryKramer said and add a little more. Set up an Attribute Rule on the field you'd like to store the data, set it to run when a feature is edited / updated, and use the following arcade expression (area given as example).

Area($feature, 'acres')

One note about Attribute Rules, they will prevent you from using the Feature Class they apply to in ArcMap, so if you have people who will edit the data in ArcMap, Attribute Rules may not be a viable option.