Validating a geodatabase topology

This topic applies to ArcEditor and ArcInfo only.

Once you have made edits to a feature that participates in a topology, the next step is to validate the topology. Validating the topology means checking the features to identify any violations of the rules that have been defined for the topology.

ArcMap allows you to validate a portion of a topology during an edit session. Use ArcCatalog or the Catalog window if you need to validate an entire topology, which may take awhile for complex or large datasets or where there are many topology rules. You may want to compact your file or personal geodatabase after validating to reduce its size and improve performance.


In addition to checking for topology errors, validating a geodatabase topology involves a series of spatial processing tasks to identify shared features and maintain coincidence between adjacent features. For example, you might notice that ArcGIS inserts vertices on adjoining polygons. This occurs because the vertices on each polygon must be at the same coordinate location on each feature when editing shared geometry in a geodatabase topology.

  1. You can validate a portion of a topology using the tools on the Topology toolbar.
    • Click Validate Topology In Specified Area Validate Topology In Specified Area and drag a box around the area you want to validate. The features that fall within the bounding box will be validated.
    • Click Validate Topology In Current Extent Validate Topology In Current Extent. Areas that are not currently visible on the map are not validated.
  2. Continue fixing topology errors as needed.

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