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Spatial joins by feature type

A spatial join involves matching rows from the join layer to the target layer based on a spatial relationship and writing to an output feature class. When a match is found during processing, a row is added to the output feature class containing the shape and attributes from the target layer, and the matching attributes from the join layer. The spatial relationship is determined by the geometry types of the input layers as well as the chosen match option. The table below describes the spatial relationships.

Target featureJoin featureINTERSECTCONTAINSWITHINCLOSEST

Point

Point

A join point is matched to a target point at the same location.

Same as INTERSECT

Same as INTERSECT

A join point is matched to the nearest target point within the search radius.

Point

Line

A join line is matched to a target point that it intersects.

Not applicable

A join line is matched to a target point contained within the line.

A join line is matched to the nearest target point within the search radius.

Point

Polygon

A join polygon is matched to a target point that is inside or on the boundary of the polygon.

Not applicable

A join polygon is matched to a target point that is inside the boundary of the polygon.

A join polygon is matched to the nearest target point within the search radius.

Line

Point

A join point is matched to a target line that it intersects.

A join point is matched to a target line that contains it.

Not applicable

A join point is matched to the nearest target line within the search radius.

Line

Line

A join line is matched to a target line that it intersects. This includes lines that cross or are coincident.

A join line is matched to a target line that completely contains it. Here the join line is coincident with the target line.

A join line is matched to a target line that falls completely within the join line. Here the target line is coincident with the join line.

A join line is matched to the nearest target line within the search radius.

Line

Polygon

A join polygon is matched to a target line that it intersects.

Not applicable

A join polygon is matched to a target line that is inside the boundary of the join polygon.

A join polygon is matched to the nearest target line within the search radius.

Polygon

Point

A join point is matched to a target polygon that it intersects or is inside of.

A join point is matched to a target polygon that contains it.

Not applicable

A join point is matched to the nearest target polygon within the search radius.

Polygon

Line

A join line is matched to a target polygon that it intersects or is inside of.

A join line is matched to a target polygon that contains it.

Not applicable

A join line is matched to the nearest target polygon within the search radius.

Polygon

Polygon

A join polygon is matched to a target polygon that it intersects or is inside of.

A join polygon is matched to a target polygon that contains it.

A join polygon is matched to a target polygon that is inside the boundary of the join polygon.

A join polygon is matched to the nearest target polygon within the search radius.