A reclassify tool for vector data would be incredibly useful. Essentially it would act as a way to cement symbology within the attribute table.
I recently came across the need to take median household income and categorize over 500 records (polygons) into quartiles. You can easily do this using display symbology, but I wanted to create a field in the attribute table with values of 1, 2, 3, or 4 for each record to denote what quartile that particular record fell into based on the income value. I wanted this data to be in the attribute table so I could perform further geoprocessing by choosing records by quartile classification.
To be most useful, this tool would leave the original field data intact and create a new field with the new values. For my needs, the ability to break the data into ranges is important.
I was able to get the result I wanted by using the symbology aspect of the Properties for my layer to determine where the quartile breaks should be, jot them down, and then use a python script to calculate a new field. I told the GIS to take particular ranges of data (quartiles) and assign those records appropriate values (1, 2, 3, 4). This works, but it is tedious and time-consuming. If a geogprocessing tool could do the same thing, it would make things much more efficient.
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