Focus on Geodatabases in ArcGIS Pro
Chapter 1 Designing the geodatabase schema
Chapter 2 Creating a geodatabase
Chapter 3 Populating and sharing a geodatabase
Chapter 4 Extending data formats
Chapter 5 Working with features
Chapter 6 Advanced editing
Chapter 7 Working with topology
The ArcGIS® platform uses the geodatabase as the spatial data format of choice for desktop, enterprise, web, and mobile applications. Within the geodatabase, you can store points, lines, polygons, tables, and other features for practically any application. As spatial data becomes more prolific across many platforms, the issue of maintaining the quality of both existing and newly created data has come to the forefront. Those in charge of managing these spatial datasets need the ability to control how they are created and edited to maintain this quality.
The geodatabase contains many parameters and options that the user can preset to help maintain data integrity in spatial datasets. Knowing what these components are and how to design them is crucial to building a new geodatabase, whether it is for local or enterprise use or even for use online or mobile apps. And once these features are built into your data schema, it is important to know how to place your data into the geodatabase to take full advantage of these tools. Maintaining data integrity doesn’t stop with building and importing data; it extends into editing existing data and creating new data. The editing interface includes many tools that work with the geodatabase to enforce the rules of data integrity, so the proper use of these tools is critical to maintaining your data at the highest standards. It’s even possible to hide the nature of these data integrity rules so that they don’t interfere with the normal workflow, but they can be used to steer the user toward the proper data entry techniques. This book explores many of those tools, including default values, field domains, subtype categories, relationship rules, editing constraints, and data entry control, custom feature templates, and more—all of which, when combined, will provide a solid editing experience designed to maintain your data integrity.
This book will take you through designing, building, and editing your datasets using all the latest features and enhancements. Each chapter discusses the major concepts and includes hands-on tutorials that take you step-by-step through various focused topics. The tutorials include a sample project file in which you can practice the skills outlined, datasets to work with, special Your Turn segments in which you can practice earlier concepts, a review with study questions for classroom use, and an independent exercise that you can work through to ensure you have mastered the concepts. Chapter topics include the careful design of a geodatabase schema, building geodatabases that include data integrity rules, populating your geodatabases with existing data, sharing the data on the web and building 3D views, creating new features, editing the data with various techniques, and working with topologies.
Over the last 30 years, the way that geographic features have been portrayed, stored, and manipulated in geographic information systems (GIS) has evolved from a file-based technology into the present-day Esri geodatabase format. By using the Esri geodatabase, GIS practitioners can more realistically manage geographic features and their relationships to other features. Although computer technology has enhanced the behavioral aspects of these relationships, the fundamental ways that these geographic features are represented—by points, lines, and polygons—have largely remained unchanged. Esri geodatabase technology has improved the management of these points, lines, and polygons by providing tools to create geographic feature representations, enforce data integrity, and establish relationships among the geographic features that more closely model real-world situations.
As illustrated in the previous exercise, the opportunities to manage data using GIS methodology can be enhanced by careful thought and preplanning to ensure that an accurate portrayal of geographic features and their relationships is contained in the geodatabase. Preplanning the geodatabase is enhanced through a structured, organized logical data model to ensure that every conceivable relationship is accounted for in the model. This preplanning phase is no easy task. However, it is much easier to spend time at the outset designing your geodatabase than it is to change it once you’ve begun entering data into the model.
Organizing your geodatabase using feature classes and feature datasets allows you to refine relationships and behaviors for the data. Feature classes, as the most basic representation of geographic data in the geodatabase, can be logically grouped together to form feature datasets. Although there are many different techniques for organizing geographic data in the geodatabase, the organization of the data must be guided by the behavior of these features in the real world. For example, if feature classes contained in the geodatabase work together to form a geometric network, represent a terrain, or establish a topology, the feature classes must reside in the same feature dataset. Such behaviors among the data must be considered while designing the geodatabase.
Once your design is complete, using domains for your attribute data and other techniques will reduce costly mistakes during the data entry phase of your geodatabase’s development. Additional techniques provided by the geodatabase, such as the creation of subtypes, optimize how data is organized and utilized within the geodatabase. Using the many tools available within your project, and with a thoroughly planned approach, your new geodatabase will adequately portray the geographic features and associated relationships among them. As a result, your model of reality as contained in the geodatabase will represent the real-world features as closely as possible.