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Aggregating fields on spatial join or dissolve

Question asked by joincto on Sep 30, 2015
Latest reply on Nov 2, 2015 by JRobinson-esristaff

This comment applies specifically to the tools "Spatial Join" and "Dissolve"

in the toolbox of ArcGIS desktop. (I am running 10.3.1)


The interface to these tools allows one to aggregate fields (eg. take sum or mean or median or...) when multiple

feature classes are dissolved or when multiple target feature classes

match the criteria for a spatial join to a target class.


Sound good? Well, no, not really; not as implemented.

For each field that you wish to aggregate

you have to specify how you wish to aggregate it,

or whether to ignore it in the dissolve/join.


I have some Business Analyst (BA) datasets. I want to dissolve

the data by combining multiple census tracts into

a larger geographic area of my own definition.

The BA dataset has about 3000 fields.

Many of these are things like population counts

in various age ranges (hundreds of fields, if not thousands)

That means that I have to point and click myself

through 3000 fields specifying for each whether

I wish to ignore it or how to aggregate it.

Are you going to pay my carpal tunnel treatment bills?


Either my understanding of the python interface

is at fault, or that interface is totally unusable.


(Aside: And BTW why isn't there a tool to join

a target dataset to various source datasets

on a common field, but to aggregate the

data when there are many source records

matching the target record).


Would anyone from ESRI like to comment?