Before you begin the tutorial, you must find and organize the data that you will need. This can be done using the Catalog window in ArcMap or the ArcCatalog application.
Connect to data
In the Catalog, data is accessed through the following entry points:
- Folder Connections—You add connections to folders on your local machine or your network. Connect to folders that contain GIS data, such as file geodatabases, personal geodatabases, shapefiles, coverages, CAD drawings, tables, service definition (.sd) files, layer packages, map packages, imagery, and comma separated value (.csv) files.
- Database Servers—You connect to workgroup or desktop geodatabases through Database Servers to administer the geodatabases and the SQL Server Express instance in which they are stored.
- Database Connections—Connect to databases or enterprise geodatabases through Database Connections. You can also access data in workgroup or desktop geodatabases from a database connection.
- GIS Servers—Connections through GIS Servers allow you to access services on an ArcGIS Server site.
- My Hosted Services—When you connect ArcMap to ArcGIS Online or Portal for ArcGIS and sign in to your organization, you have access to hosted web layers through My Hosted Services.
- Ready-To-Use Services—When you connect ArcMap to ArcGIS Online and sign in to your organization, Ready-To-Use Services give you access to hosted web layers provided by Esri.
This tutorial uses file geodatabases, a coverage, and an INFO table. All these GIS data types are accessed through folder connections.
You will now begin organizing your data by creating a folder connection to the BuildingaGeodatabase folder.
- Start ArcMap.
- Set the Montgomery geodatabase as your default, since this is the geodatabase you will use in this tutorial. To do this, click the Open button on the ArcMap - Getting Started dialog box.
- Browse to the location of the BuildingaGeodatabase tutorial folder, select the Montgomery geodatabase, and click Add.
If you installed the tutorial data to the default location, the folder will be in C:\ArcTutor\BuildingaGeodatabase.
- Click OK to open a new, empty map.
- Click the Catalog button to open the Catalog window.
- You will be working in this window a lot, so pin it open by clicking the Auto Hide pin button at the top of the Catalog window.
- Click the Connect To Folder button on the Catalog standard toolbar.
The Connect To Folder dialog box appears.
- Browse to the BuildingaGeodatabase folder on the local drive where you installed the tutorial data.
- Click OK to establish a folder connection.
Your new folder connection is now listed in the Catalog tree under Folder Connections. Now you can access all the data needed for the tutorial through that connection.
Explore your data
Before you begin modifying the geodatabase, explore the datasets provided for the tutorial.
- Click the plus sign next to the BuildingaGeodatabase folder to see the datasets it contains.
- Click the laterals coverage, hold down the left mouse button, and drag it from the Catalog window onto the map to view the laterals geometry.
- Right-click the laterals layer in the Table Of Contents and click Open Attribute Table to display the attributes of the arcs in the laterals coverage.
- Click the X in the upper right corner of the table to close it.
- Right-click the laterals coverage in the Table Of Contents and click Remove to remove it from the map.
- In the Catalog window, click the plus sign next to the Montgomery geodatabase, and double-click each feature dataset.
This expands the feature datasets so you can see all the feature classes contained in each feature dataset.
- Right-click the owners.dat INFO table in the BuildingaGeodatabase folder and click Properties.
- Click the Items tab on the Info Table Properties dialog box.
The fields, their data types, and properties are displayed on the Items tab. This table contains the owner information for the Parcels feature class in the Montgomery geodatabase. In the next exercise, you will import this table into the geodatabase and create relationships between the parcels and their owners.
Now that you have found and organized your data, you are ready to start the first task in the tutorial—importing data into the geodatabase.