Spatially joining points to the nearest polygon

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10-31-2017 07:52 PM
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New Contributor

I have points that were generated from lat column and long column of a spreadsheet that I assigned a PCS and used to create a shapefile. I spatially joined the points to a polygon shapefile so that the new attribute table would tell me which polygons each point resided in. Now I have several points in the water (not in a polygon) possibly due to differing PCSs of original data. I now need to assign the leftover points to a single polygon each. When I try a spatial join using the "closest" option with a geodesic range matching roughly the furthest point from a polygon, it either doesn't give me all of the results or sometimes matches the points to multiple polygons (gives me data describing the same point multiple times in the attribute table in different polygons, some that obviously aren't the closest. Any clues on how to do this properly or what could be causing the malfunction?

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Esri Esteemed Contributor

If you have access to ArcGIS Desktop (ArcMap or ArcGIS Pro) you could perform a Spatial Join. In Pro you do this:

Set the Match Option to Closest and a Search Distance in which you want to consider the match. The result will indicate if a point was indeed inside a polygon (distance = 0) or outside:

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Esri Esteemed Contributor

In ArcMap probably the easiest way is to, right click on your points layer, select Joins and Relates, Joins:

... and select the option "is closest to it":

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New Contributor

Hey, thanks

for some reason, as described, this wasn't working at first, but I got it going with a bit of tweaking

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