Combine 2 shapefiles into 1 with unlike boundaries and unlike attributes

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10-25-2012 08:49 AM
DanielDrugan
New Contributor
Hey Everyone,

New to ArcView/ArcMap here�?�

I'm having a problem trying to figure out how to properly merge a shapefile that holds one set of boundaries and unique attributes to another with differing boundaries and unique attributes.

The closest article I could find online somewhat relating to this issue is here: http://www.library.yale.edu/MapColl/files/docs/Overlay%20of%20Demographic%20Datasets%20with%20Unlike...

The one element that both these shapefiles have in common is that they are overlaid geographically (i.e. one shapefile has smaller boundaries and when I add the layer in ArcView, it rests on top of the other, larger shapefile/layer).

1. Do both of these shapefiles need similar attribute tables before I can merge the two into one shapefile? (fundamentally, doesn�??t make sense to me because if one shapefile offers one set of different/exotic boundaries�?�how can the shapefile match attributes with the other shapefile of differing boundary attributes)

2. I attached a picture of what I�??m dealing with�?�hopefully it helps!

Thank you for helping! Hopefully I can figure out if this is even possible soon : )

[ATTACH=CONFIG]18736[/ATTACH]
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3 Replies
JonathanQuinn
Esri Frequent Contributor
So you'd like to simple merge the two datasets, so that you'd have one layer with both sets of data?  If so, you can use the Merge or Append tool, which will combine two or more datasets.  You can play with the field mapping section to manage fields between the datasets.

If you want to combine data from their geographic position, you can look into the Intersect tool.

If I'm missing your actual objective, let me know so we can consider other options.
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DanielDrugan
New Contributor
Thanks John, I'll try to work with those tools...the goal is gather the data from the larger layer/shapefile and append the data to the smaller shapefile...my concern was that the smaller (inset "orange hatch") shapefile has boundaries (and attributes!) that do not correlate at all to the green layer in the background (which was composed from census block data).
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DanielDrugan
New Contributor
Intersect worked! Thanks Jon!!
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