Updating a shapefile

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01-31-2014 08:58 AM
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New Contributor
I am told to update a shapefile (add new records to it) before I can use it to produce a map. To update the shapefile, I opened its attribute table and then used "Start Editing" and "Add new features" menu option to enter the new records in an ArcGIS Edit  session.
As I updated the shapefile this way (by editing the table and adding the new records), I think that the XY coordinates were not lost for the old records.
However, I am wondering if I have to geocode again the shapefile in order for the new records to have a positional location attached to them and then use the exported shapefile (obtained after geocoding) to make my map?
Thanks.
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Frequent Contributor II
I am not certain what you did but did you open the dbf in something like excel and add the records.

You cannot do that with a shapefile.  you will lose everything or if you don't lose it you can scramble the data records.  The dbf rows are tied to a specific graphical feature. if you make changes to the dbf you alter which record is tied to which graphic.

if you need to edit a shapefile you do it in an ArcGIS session.




I am told to update a shapefile (add new records to it) before I can use it to produce a map. To update the shapefile, I opened its attribute table and then used "Start Editing" and "Add new features" option to enter the new records.
As I updated the shapefile this way (by editing the table and adding the new records), I think that the XY coordinates were not lost for the old records.
However, I am wondering if I have to geocode again the shapefile in order for the new records to have a positional location attached to them and then use the exported shapefile (obtained after geocoding) to make my map?
Thanks.
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I edited the shapefile to add the new records in an ArcGIS session.
First I thought about exporting the shapefile to Excel and then add  the new records there, but I didn't do it. Because I thought the old records would lose their XY coordinates.
So, after I added the new records in an ArcGis session, do I have to geocode the shapefile(table) again and use the new shapefile obtained from geocoding to make my map?


.
I am not certain what you did but did you open the dbf in something like excel and add the records.

You cannot do that with a shapefile.  you will lose everything or if you don't lose it you can scramble the data records.  The dbf rows are tied to a specific graphical feature. if you make changes to the dbf you alter which record is tied to which graphic.

if you need to edit a shapefile you do it in an ArcGIS session.
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Esteemed Contributor
Is this a point shapefile?  If so, maybe you can do a field calc on the fields holding the x and y coordinates using getx and gety on the shape field which should be available through the field calculator.
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Frequent Contributor II
If you added them in an ArcGIS session why would you need to geocode them.  They should already be placed where you want them.  Typically geocoding is performed on a set of data that is not a shape file or feature class.


I edited the shapefile to add the new records in an ArcGIS session.
First I thought about exporting the shapefile to Excel and then add  the new records there, but I didn't do it. Because I thought the old records would lose their XY coordinates.
So, after I added the new records in an ArcGis session, do I have to geocode the shapefile(table) again and use the new shapefile obtained from geocoding to make my map?


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Yes, it is a point file. The records I added to the shapefile are new facilities or buildings that have their address, zip code, telephone number, and other attributes, but there is no longitude and latitude in their attributes.
When I did add new features in ArcGIS Edit session, I just dropped these new features or new points anywhere or the map as I didn't know where on the map the point should be dropped for the new facilities.

Is this a point shapefile?  If so, maybe you can do a field calc on the fields holding the x and y coordinates using getx and gety on the shape field which should be available through the field calculator.
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Because they new records I added to the shapefile are new facilities(buildings). In attributes of these new facilities there is no longitude or latitute but attributes such as their name, their address, zip code, ect..

When I did add new features in ArcGIS Edit session, I just dropped these new points(new features) anywhere on the map as I didn't know where on the map the point should be dropped for the new facilities.
As I dropped a point anywhere on the map for each new facility, will arcGIS put each new facility in the exact place it should be on the map of the city?

 
If you added them in an ArcGIS session why would you need to geocode them.  They should already be placed where you want them.  Typically geocoding is performed on a set of data that is not a shape file or feature class.
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The new records  I added to the shapefile (as well as the old records that were put in the shapefile by the person who created the shapefile) are facilities on a city map. There is no longitude and latitude in the attribute table of this shapefile, but attributes such as name, address, zip code, etc...

Is this a point shapefile?  If so, maybe you can do a field calc on the fields holding the x and y coordinates using getx and gety on the shape field which should be available through the field calculator.
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MVP Esteemed Contributor
You should geocode the new data separately then merge the two files together
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The new data (the new records I'm going to add to the shapefile) I was given is in Excel. These records are new facilities that will be added to the old facilites that are in the shapefile. In the attributes list of these new facilites, there is no latitude and longitude, but attributes such as name, address, zip code, year the facility was built, etc...

As you said I have to geocode the new data and merge it, can you tell me how I can import this Excel file into ArcGIS and then geocode it?
I think I have to create shapefile with this new data before I geocode it, right? If so how can I create a shapefile with this new data in Excel?

I am not sure, but can I create a shapefile with this new data by importing it into Mcrosoft Access to create a table with it and then import this table into ArcGIS?
Thanks.

You should geocode the new data separately then merge the two files together
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