Ranking field values

At the Esri International User Conference this year, an attendee came to the analysis island to ask “how do I create a rank field?”. They had run the Generate Near Table geoprocessing tool (see illustration of table below) and were looking for a way to further rank the distances. Ideally, the table would be updated to include a RANK field starting at ‘1’ for the smallest distance for each PATIENT and increasing sequentially based on the distance. The rank could then be used to facilitate further review and reporting. We were able to come up with the addRanks function below in a few minutes automating a key missing piece of the user’s workflow.

Original table

Table after running addRanks function.

import arcpy

def addRanks(table, sort_fields, category_field, rank_field='RANK'):
    """Use sort_fields and category_field to apply a ranking to the table.

        table: string
        sort_fields: list | tuple of strings
            The field(s) on which the table will be sorted.
        category_field: string
            All records with a common value in the category_field
            will be ranked independently.
        rank_field: string
            The new rank field name to be added.

    # add rank field if it does not already exist
    if not arcpy.ListFields(table, rank_field):
        arcpy.AddField_management(table, rank_field, "SHORT")

    sort_sql = ', '.join(['ORDER BY ' + category_field] + sort_fields)
    query_fields = [category_field, rank_field] + sort_fields

    with arcpy.da.UpdateCursor(table, query_fields,
                               sql_clause=(None, sort_sql)) as cur:
        category_field_val = None
        i = 0
        for row in cur:
            if category_field_val == row[0]:
                i += 1
                category_field_val = row[0]
                i = 1
            row[1] = i

if __name__ == '__main__':
             ['distance'], 'patient', 'rank')

Note: dBase (and shapefiles) does not support ORDER BY as used above by arcpy.da.UpdateCursor’s sql_clause argument.

Shifting features

Shifting (or moving) features is a snap using the arcpy.da module’s UpdateCursor. By modifying the SHAPE@XY token, it modifies the centroid of the feature and shifts the rest of the feature to match. This approach will hold for point, polyline or polygon features.

To modify only a single or subset of features in a feature layer, apply a selection to that layer and pass the layer in as the input to shift_features.

Word of caution, this is using UpdateCursor, so features will be permanently modified. So, back up your data if you may potentially want to reverse the updates.

import arcpy

def shift_features(in_features, x_shift=None, y_shift=None):
    Shifts features by an x and/or y value. The shift values are in
    the units of the in_features coordinate system.

    in_features: string
        An existing feature class or feature layer.  If using a
        feature layer with a selection, only the selected features
        will be modified.

    x_shift: float
        The distance the x coordinates will be shifted.

    y_shift: float
        The distance the y coordinates will be shifted.

    with arcpy.da.UpdateCursor(in_features, ['SHAPE@XY']) as cursor:
        for row in cursor:
            cursor.updateRow([[row[0][0] + (x_shift or 0),
                               row[0][1] + (y_shift or 0)]])