Standard Geography Trade Area geoprocessing tool failures due to incorrect data type of Geography Key

Last Published: April 25, 2020


Running Generate Standard Geography Trade Area geoprocessing tool with Input Type parameter set to Table may fail unexpectedly.


The Geography Key field may be misinterpreted as field type ‘numeric’ in some tables external to ArcGIS Pro. The Geography Key field must be of field type 'text' to successfully run the tool.


Confirm that this issue has been encountered by adding your input table to the ArcGIS Pro contents pane and checking if the Geography Key field is data type ‘text.’ If the field is listed as numeric, the data must be converted to text prior to running the tool.

The data can be converted to text by importing the table to a file geodatabase, adding a new text field, and then calculating geography key values from the original numeric field to the newly added text field.

Checking the Geography Key Field Type

To add your table to the ArcGIS Pro contents pane, click the Map tab in the ribbon and then the Add Data button from within the Layer group. Once the table is added, open the attribute table by right clicking it in the contents pane and selecting Open.

  • To check formatting of your Geography Key field, click the hamburger button hamburgerin the upper right of the attribute table and select Fields View.
  • If your Geography Key field is Data Type ‘text', no further actions are required, and the table can be successfully used within the tool.
  • If the Geography Key field is not set to ‘text’, follow the additional steps below.

Converting Geography Key Values to Text

  1. Close the attribute table, right-click it in the contents pane, select Data and then Export Table. This opens the Copy Rows geoprocessing tool. 
  2. By default, the output table location is to the project’s home file geodatabase. Accept this default and click Run. The new file geodatabase table is added to the contents pane.
  3. Right-click the new table and select Open.
  4. With the table open, add a new filed by clicking Add.
  5. Name the new field and set the data type to ‘text.’
  6. Click Save on the ribbon to save the table changes and the close the field's view dialog to return to the attribute table.
  7. Right-click the header of the newly created field, and click Calculate Field.
  8. Under Expressions, double-click the field originally used as geography key to add the values to the new field as text. Once the field is populated,  re-run the tool with the newly added text field selected as geography key.

Article ID:000019751

  • ArcGIS Business Analyst Pro

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