View Geometry in Tabular to Feature Class FGDB Join

06-02-2016 08:42 AM
Status: Open
Occasional Contributor

Short Version: Join a non-spatial table to a feature class, and the records are mapped by the feature-classes geometry. Currently, the geometry isn't available when you join a table to a feature class.


I've been trying to figure out why, in ArcGIS Desktop is it not possible to join data (using the common Add Join tool) join a generic table to a generic feature class to a generic point layer and view the geometry. This situation is probably fairly common where you might have a point or line feature class and several inspections tied to each point in a tabular format. What if you want to view the point locations of each inspection, or a subset of inspections? Lets say you want to view the structures with an inspection rating of less than 3? If the inspections table is a simple tabular dataset, you'll need to do something like add xy coordinates, to the feature class, join the tables, then generate a point file using from xy coordinates..etc. It would be much nicer to just join it to its related feature class and filter/view the geometries.

Let me back up, I know this is possible to do with RDBMS by creating a new view, etc. But why not file geodatabases?

It kind of defeats the purpose of having a One to Many relationship with a non-spatial data type, like inspections for example.

I've been learning more about spatial databases like PostGIS, and others and it seems that in those databases, the geometry is just a column, like any other and when you join a non spatial table to a spatial table you can select and view that geometry that is associated with the spatial table.

It seems like this should be a feature implemented in any spatial database including file geodatabases, not just in an RDBMS.