beginner command/scripting/python help, 9.3

Discussion created by chrisjcantire on Mar 21, 2013
Latest reply on Mar 22, 2013 by chrisjcantire
hi guys, long time lurker first time poster...

if the information I'm after is already elsewhere, please point me in the right direction if it's faster.

I've just started using arcgis 9.3 (no arcinfo) after years of using mapinfo.  what I'd like to do is just type my commands in arc much like the command line in mapinfo; sql commands for one would be amazing.  this doesn't seem apparent in arcgis 9.3 but I could be wrong.  I see the command line window but I'm not familiar with the syntax or functions found therein yet.  what I used to do in mapinfo was write code in mapbasic, then run those mapbasic programs in mapinfo; can something similar be done here?  if python is what I need to learn I don't mind, it's the linking of a working python script (and validation/compilation of that script) to arcmap9.3 that concerns me.

my first task is to compare two point layers for example; find the 5 closest points in layer1 for each point in layer2 in ascending order (ie. ignoring the 6th closest point or farther); any good starting points or things to consider first?

thanks very much in advance for any input...