Exploring Error and Uncertainty Related to Datums and Projections Using ArcGIS

Creating a File Geodatabase

Table of Contents

  1. Exploring Error and Uncertainty Related to Datums and Projections Using ArcGIS
  2. Skill Drill: Setting Up Your Workspace
  3. Skill Drill: Downloading Data from Natural Earth
  4. Skill Drill: Connect to Your Workspace Folder in ArcMap
  5. Creating a File Geodatabase
  6. Creating Feature Classes from Shapefiles
  7. Adding XY Data using the ArcCatalog Window
  8. Skill Drill: Creating Indicatrices Using the Buffer Tool
  9. Evaluate Distortion Patterns in Map Projections
  10. Measuring Scale Distortion
  11. Skill Drill: Evaluate and Measure Distortion
  12. Troubleshooting Datum Shift
  13. Repairing Corrupted Data Using the Define Projection Tool
  14. Skill Drill: Repairing Incorrect Coordinate System Definitions

This step involves using the native data structure for ArcGIS called a geodatabase. A geodatabase is like a container that can hold many types of geospatial datasets. It is a way to organize and manage related datasets. There are several different types of geodatabases. The one covered here is called a file geodatabase, which can store individual datasets up to one terabyte (TB) in size.

In ArcMap, right-click on the working folder in the Catalog Window. Select New, then File Geodatabase (Figure 2.09).

Figure 2.09: You can access contextual menus by right-clicking on a file or folder.

The geodatabase should appear in your working folder with the default name, New File Geodatabase (Figure 2.10).

Figure 2.10: A new file geodatabase is generated within the folder you select.

Change the name to something more meaningful, such as your initials, followed by World Data (Figure 2.11). Spaces are OK to use when naming geodatabases.

Figure 2.11: This example uses the author’s initials. You should use your initials in the file name.

When saving files, ArcMap uses a default geodatabase as an output location. As a result, many readers encounter a situation where they forget to specify the output location, and data gets saved to the default geodatabase. This mistake may lead to lost data or other unforeseen problems. In this step, you set the default output location to the geodatabase you created.

From the File menu, open the Map Document Properties window. Next to Default Geodatabase click the yellow file folder icon to browse to your working folder (Figure 2.12).

Figure 2.12: The Map Document Properties window indicates which geodatabase is the default.

If you do not see your workspace folder in the Default Geodatabase window, use the drop-down menu to locate it (Figure 2.13).

Figure 2.13: The drop-down menu will display the list of connected folders.

Navigate to your working folder and select your World Data geodatabase. When ready, click ADD (Figure 2.14).

Figure 2.14: Be sure to choose the geodatabase you created. The name should include your initials.

When you return to the Map Document Properties window, be sure to check the box next to Store relative pathnames to data sources (Figure 2.15). When ready, click OK.

Figure 2.15: Always make sure to check the Store relative pathnames to data sources option.