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Assigning unique IDs to two or more overlapping polygons

Question asked by salford10 on Jun 28, 2012
Latest reply on Jul 14, 2012 by salford10
I wonder if anybody could help me with a problem I am having.
I have two shapefile containing glacier polygon outlines of the same area but from different times.
In one shapefile the glaciers polygons are a lot larger, and in the other the same glaciers are smaller with some having split into two or more seperate glacier polygons.

I need to calculate area change for each individual glacier. To do this I am thinking of assigning a unique ID number to each of the overlapping glacier polygons. Once the IDs in both shapefiles correspond to the same glacier I will calulate the area for both in arcmap and then export this data into excel. I can then do a simply subtraction based on the IDs.

I am just struggling with the assigning unique IDs bit. Any help would be much appreciated