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Arcpy Field Calculator

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The Arcpy Field Calculator is a powerful tool designed for geographic information system (GIS) professionals who work with ArcGIS software. This calculator allows users to apply mathematical, textual, and logical operations on field data within a GIS database. Its primary function is to automate the process of calculating field values in a table or feature class, making data management and analysis more efficient and less error-prone.

Purpose and Functionality

At its core, the Arcpy Field Calculator uses Python or VBScript to execute formulas that manipulate or calculate data for fields in a table or feature class. This flexibility enables users to perform a wide range of operations, from simple arithmetic to complex conditional logic, all within the GIS environment.

The calculator is particularly valuable for tasks such as updating field values based on specific criteria, calculating geometric properties, and transforming text fields. It supports working directly within the ArcGIS platform, allowing for seamless integration with existing GIS workflows.

Step-by-Step Examples

Basic Arithmetic Operation

Adding 10 to each value in a field named Your Field

Conditional Statement

Updating a field value based on whether it is higher than 100

String Concatenation

Combining two fields with a space between them

Date Manipulation

Adding 10 days to a date field

Applying Formulas Using CalculateField_management

The Calculate Field management function is the primary method for applying these formulas within ArcGIS

Relevant Information Table

Formula TypePython or VBScript
Operation TypesArithmetic, Textual, Logical
GIS IntegrationDirect integration with ArcGIS
Use CaseData management, Geometric calculations, Data analysis
Custom Code BlocksSupported for complex logic


By leveraging the provided examples and understanding the calculator’s capabilities, users can tackle a wide array of GIS tasks, from routine data updates to sophisticated data analysis projects. The Arcpy Field Calculator not only saves time but also opens up new possibilities for data exploration and insight.

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