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Geocoding: Spatial Join Tutorial

Tutorial on mapping locations based on addresses.

Spatial Join

The spatial join appends the attributes in one layer to the features in another, based on their relative locations (i.e. how they overlap or how close they are to each other. In this tutorial, we join the median income data from the census tract layer to the two layers of shop locations.


This tutorial will show you how associate geocoded locations with other datasets that describe the area around each location.


  1. In the TOC, right-click on the geocoding results from the wig shops table, and select Joins & Relates > Join.
  2. Under “What do you want to join to this layer?”, select “Join data from another layer based on spatial location.” Since the median income data is in the Philly Metro Area layer, select that from the drop-down under “Choose the layer to join to this layer.”

    We want to associate each point with the median income of the census tract in falls within, so make sure the “it falls inside” option is selected.

    Since this function will create a new file, give the output a meaningful name under #3, then click OK.

    Screenshot of Join Data Box option
  3. Make sure that the new layer is added to the map. Right-click and select Open Attribute Table. With the attribute table open, scroll over to the last column in the table, V0T068001. This contains the values of the median household income for the census tract of each wig shop. To get summary statistics for these census tracts, right-click on the top of the column and select Statistics. What are the mean and the standard deviation for these tracts?

    Mean: _______________
    Std. Dev: _____________
  4. Repeats steps 1-3 for the layer of pet groomer locations. How do they compare?

    Mean: _______________
    Std. Dev: _____________