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Maintaining data integrity in ArcGIS (ArcObjects .NET 10.8 SDK)
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Maintaining data integrity in ArcGIS

This topic outlines how you can promote and maintain data integrity during feature creation and update in ArcGIS.

In this topic

About maintaining data integrity in ArcGIS

One of the main goals during the course of data maintenance and data creation scenarios is mitigating and limiting the number of incorrect or invalid edits made to the underlying data. These inconsistencies can come in many forms: invalid feature locations, incorrect feature geometry or attributes, and incorrect spatial relationships between features.
ArcGIS has a number of ways you can minimize the occurrence of these inconsistencies. Depending on the workflow required, using one or more of these capabilities can help you identify and reduce the amount of data errors in your geographic information system (GIS) data.


One of the primary methods to accurately create new features or update existing features is snapping. Snapping provides an easy way to define or update the vertices of an existing feature and have them spatially coincident with other GIS features. Snapping is configurable, allowing you to tune the capabilities as necessary based on your editing workflow.
ArcGIS supports multiple ways to utilize snapping. For more information on snapping, see Snapping in ArcGIS.

Validating attributes

The most common edit made to GIS features is an attribute update. Minimizing incorrect and invalid data entry with the definition of the geodatabase schema, including the use of coded value or range domains, geometric network connectivity rules, and subtypes. The geodatabase provides a mechanism to evaluate a feature's attributes against the underlying information model.
For more information about attribute validation in the geodatabase, see Validating features.

Validating spatial relationships

Certain types of GIS information have spatial relationships that must be evaluated to ensure topological consistency. ArcGIS uses a geodatabase topology to define and evaluate features against these topological rules. For example, a polygon layer must not have any overlapping polygons. Violations of these rules are stored as topology error features in the geodatabase. As a developer, you can evaluate and query topology errors, and update features to resolve any topological inconsistency.
For more information about geodatabase topologies, see Working with topology errors.

Maintaining spatial relationships during edits

When certain types of features share a topological relationship, it is often easiest to maintain these relations (and topological consistency) as part of the editing process rather than evaluating and resolving them after editing is complete. ArcGIS has a number of mechanisms that allow you to update a set of features to maintain topological consistency through the TopologyGraph. The TopologyGraph provides these capabilities through a set of topological primitives, which are representations of the participating features. For example, to update the shared boundary of two adjacent polygons, you can update the topology edge that is shared between them rather than updating the features independently.
For more information about editing shared geometries between features, see Working with topologically related features.

See Also:

Validating features
Working with the ArcGIS snapping environment
Working with topology errors
Working with topologically related features

Development licensing Deployment licensing
ArcGIS Desktop Advanced ArcGIS Desktop Advanced
ArcGIS Desktop Standard ArcGIS Desktop Standard
ArcGIS Desktop Basic ArcGIS Desktop Basic
Engine Developer Kit Engine