Setting up a feature dataset involves three primary tasks:
- First, create a new feature dataset.
- Add the set of feature classes that will be held in your feature dataset and populate their contents (that is, add features). See Creating feature classes.
- Add optional geodatabase objects to your feature dataset to model relationships and add rich behavior. Options include adding a relationship class, a topology, a network dataset, a terrain, or a geometric network.
- In the Catalog tree, right-click the geodatabase in which you want to create a new feature dataset.
- Click New > Feature Dataset.
- Type a name for the feature dataset.
- Navigate to the spatial reference you want to use. Alternatively, click Import and navigate to the feature class or feature dataset that uses the spatial reference you want to use as a template.
- Use Modify if you want to change any parameters in the coordinate system you've chosen. Edit the coordinate system's parameters and click OK.
- If your data requires a vertical coordinate system for z-units, you may import one from another feature class or feature dataset; otherwise, select None. Click Modify if you want to change any parameters in the coordinate system you've chosen. Edit the coordinate system's parameters and click OK.
- Enter values for the xy-tolerance, z-tolerance, and m-tolerance, or accept the default value, which is the equivalent of 1 mm in real-world units.
- If you have unchecked the Accept default resolution and domain extent check box, there is an additional dialog box in the wizard that allows you to change the xy-, z- and m-resolution as well as the minimum and maximum z- and m-values.
- Click Finish.
The xy-, z-, and m-tolerances are used to set the distance that coordinates are allowed to be adjusted by the software during various processing operations.
The default x,y-tolerance is set to 0.001 meters or its equivalent in the units of the dataset's coordinate system. For example, if your coordinate system is recorded in feet, the default value is 0.003281 feet (0.03937 inches). If your x,y coordinates are stored in decimal degrees, the default value is 0.0000000556.
Using the default xy-tolerance works extremely well in almost all situations unless you have an extreme case in which you have incredibly precise data (i.e., coordinate accuracy better than survey-grade coordinates). If you need to consider an alternative xy-tolerance value, see Coordinate Tolerances for more information.