5 Tips to Become an Esri Geodatabase Power User

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See how to load and export Geodatabase with the ability to integrate with 325+ data sources. You'll also learn tactics to help you read and transform annotations, write relationship classes and attachments (1:1 or 1:Many), perform incremental updates with versioning, as well as read and extract subtype and domain values.

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  • Introduction to the next few demos. Going to cover some issues around loading CAD data into GIS, thoughts on Schema Mapping and a bit about Domains.
  • Loading CAD to GIS.
    Main Points:
    Creating the cross-walk is complex and has to be done. Don’t underestimate the time it takes
    Many good transformers for schema mapping
    Conditional Mapping in the AttributeCreator

    DEMO Workspace. Note how in many cases there is a lot of detail, but it’s very repetitive (hence think about using SchemaMapper)
  • Loading CAD to GIS.
    Main Points:
    First which CAD reader – many choices, particularly for
    Validation of geometry, networks & attribution
    Make sure you load blocks (symbols) as points - Expand Blocks into Entities: No

    Open CofVwater.dwg and analyse “Transmission Mains” using NetworkTopologyCalculator & Aggregator

    We’re not going to touch on extracting network data today – but I should point out that FME can do that. We recently put together a network tracing example for a customer: for every device on an electric network (i.e. tranformer) list the feeding Dynamic Protection Device (fuse or switch), back tot eh circuit source.

  • Loading CAD to GIS.
    Main Points:
    See the workspace. Has an example of creating a domain with FME
    But main workspace uses a Esri XML Workspace (Schema only) document as a template for creating the FGDB
    OR write to an existing database

  • Domains and subtypes
    Main Points:
    Extracting domains and subtypes from Esri Geodatabase
    Sometimes need to populate lookups in a target database
    Use the Esri XML Workspace (Schema only) Document

  • Attachments are a special Geodatabase feature which allows for documents or images to be associated with features. The relationship and table are generated within ArcCatalog. FME can be used as a powerful tool for inserting this data into your geodatabase.

    It uses the same kind of workspace that is used to write to regular relationship classes – just makes use of a couple of little known transformers

    e.g. Path and Directory reader to read in the list of document/image names
    AttributeFileReader to read the images into a DATA column

    1:M involves the use of List processing to produce the additional features involved in the relationship.

    Truncate options appear to work – or delete features from the table by startup python
  • None is faster still but writes and commits one feature at a time

    Transactioning – faster, doesn’t allow for complex feature types or multi user editing. Features to write per transaction can be used to control errors – e.g. use a large value if all commits must take place in a simple transaction

    Versioning – slower – can write to default version or can write to a child version
    Writer also has post and reconcile option which allows for changes to be posted to parent version after write

    Delete child version doesn’t work.


  • Annotations:
    Creating annotations been covered in previous webinars.
    We’ll talk about extracting more complex annotations from a Geodb and adding those to a less annotation friendly system like MapInfo. Typically this is an issue for users who have something like a mobile platform that is not Esri based but they want to see the annotations in the same locations as the ArcGIS.
    Complex annotations include formatted text and leader lines – see the text expression.
    Set the reader parameters to YES
    Breaks each annotation at new lines and format changes.
    Custom transformer EsriAnnotationRenderer preserves the leader line styling
    Complex annotation reader parameters help preserve text locations

    Disadvantage – you have many more features.

  • Have to read a geodatabase that can change on a regular basis or multiple geodatabases from different folders

    Use the Schema Any format reader to find the feature classes of interest

    Pass them through the FeatureReader to actually do the reading.

    Make use of the nifty attribute{} attributes to build up schema
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