Combining Point & Polygon Data with the Append Data Tool

For the “official” directions, check out this link here:

First, a caveat. This is WAY more in-depth than is practically expected for a 10 day course. However, as you get more excited about GIS (and I know you are!), this is what we all want…we WANT POLYGONS that show what we want to show.

It seems that has opened up a way to modify data tables…and that is cool! So, here is a (probably error-laden) tutorial on how to add point data to a polygon/shape file.

First Principle: Don’t import the layers/data you find via the “Map –> Add a Layer” process. We need to OWN the data we bring in. So we need to add it to our own CONTENT library instead.

First Objective: Import the layers so that we own them (because if we own them, we can edit them!!)

First Step:

  1. Go to CONTENT
  2. Click on ADD ITEM
  3. Click on FROM MY COMPUTER
  4. Choose your file, give it a Title, Tag it, and click Add Item.

Do the process above for your polygon file(s) and your point data file(s) that you want to combine.

They should now appear in your Content library as “Feature Item (hosted)”.

Second Principle: We need to create a place for the point data we have in the polygon/shape table of data. That way, when we add the point data to our polygon/shape layer, it has a place to go. 

Second Objective: Create additional columns in our polygon/shape layer so that the data from our point data has a place to go once we’re ready to add it.

Second Step: 

  1. Create a new Map by going to CONTENT –> CREATE –> MAP.
  2. Add your polygon/shape layer by going to ADD –> SEARCH FOR LAYER –> search in MY CONTENT –>  Find your polygon/shape layer –> click on the + sign to add it to your map.
  3. Open the SHOW TABLE tool in your layer
  4. Click on the “hamburger” menu at the top right of your table
  5. Choose ADD FIELD
  6. Add fields for each of the data point fields you want to add to these shapes
    1. FYI – Data types:
      1. String = text, can contain various symbols
      2. Integers = numbers without decimals
      3. Date = date (I don’t know the correct format!)
      4. Double = I don’t know. Haven’t looked it up yet
  7. You should now see those new fields/columns in your table
    1. They will not have any data yet – these are placeholders!
    2. If you don’t see your new column, click the small + sign on your table to show/hide columns.

Third Objective: Add my point data to my shape/polygon layer!

Third Step:

  1. Go to CONTENT –> Click on the link for polygon/shape layer
  2. On the right side of your screen, click on UPDATE YOUR DATA
  3. Choose APPEND DATA
  4. CHOOSE FILE and browse to your CSV file of point data –> UPLOAD AND CONTINUE
  5. Link your data via a common field (UNIQUE IDENTIFIER)