It's a good idea to organize GIS content into a set of commonly used workspace folders. These are file folders on disk used to organize your GIS projects. They contain map documents, layers, file geodatabases, geoprocessing tools, scripts, and so on.
An initial task in using the Catalog window is to establish a series of connections to the workspace folders whose content you plan to work with in ArcGIS.
Each map has a Home folder, which is the folder in which the map document is stored. You can use the Home folder as the common location for organizing many of the contents used in your map document, such as a file geodatabase and its datasets, layer files, and other GIS information related to your map.
Steps for creating additional folder connections
The Catalog window gives you a mechanism for connecting to and working with GIS information in a number of workspace folders. The initial task is to establish a folder connection to each.
- Navigate to the Folder Connections node in the catalog window tree.
- Right-click the node and choose Connect To Folder.
- Type the path or navigate to the desired workspace folder and click OK.
Working with folder connections in the Catalog window
Once you have established a folder connection, you can use the Catalog window to navigate the contents of the folder. For example:
- Double-click a map document to open it in ArcMap.
- Add data to ArcMap by dragging datasets and layer files into the data frame. Use the same procedure to add items to a geoprocessing tool or into ModelBuilder.
- Right-click an item and select Item Description to view its metadata.