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Alteryx Designer Knowledge Base

Definitive answers from Designer experts.

Alteryx Designer Best Practices: Spatial Matching

Alteryx Alumni (Retired)

Often, we get support requests asking if we can do a quick session on best practices for a particular tool or set of tools.  The Spatial Match Tool is certainly no stranger to this request.  Even though Alteryx is extremely fast and efficient with spatial processing, there are instances where a slight change in settings could speed up your total module runtime.

For example, let us assume that we have 10,000 records that we are trying to perform a spatial match against.  Upon looking at our data, we notice that the points were derived from the centroid of another polygon, but the previous polygon field was still in the data stream.  Removing the unnecessary spatial field is one of the first steps in optimizing your data stream.  Why?  If you don't need the data, why are you pushing it all the way through your module?  That extra data consumes memory, so removing it from your data stream reduces that consumption, increasing the available resources on your computer.  

Ultimately, this practice can be used in any aspect of your data, but it is especially relevant with spatial processing.  For more tips and tricks regarding your spatial match process, download the included zip package.  It contains information that can help you optimize your modules that utilize the Spatial Match tool.  

Special thanks to Paul Treece for helping out with the module!

Until next time!

- Chad 
Follow me on Twitter! @AlteryxChad  

6 - Meteoroid

Thanks for the post.  Speaking of best practices, I think I've noticed a change to the way the Spatial Match tool handles point within polygons.  The best practice in this case for the type of spatial relationship is probably Target is within Universe.  To be more in clusive, I've typically set all my spatial matches to Target toucher or intersect universe.


Today I noticed while running an old workflow in 10.5 that touches or intersects for points abd polygons no longer produces any matches.  If I change the relationship to within (which is probably should have been all along) it works as I would expect.  For a sanity check I went back to a machine that is still on 10.0 and the touches or interects realtionship works just fine on the same data.


I'm wondering if there was some change in the way there spatial object types interact between the two versions.