Essential readings about the geodatabase

If you are new to geodatabases or want to learn more, the following topics provide a good conceptual overview to get you started.

Help contents


Fundamentals of GIS data

This section describes some fundamental principles that will help you as you begin to build and apply geodatabases. Start with the first topic, How maps convey geographic information.

An overview of the geodatabase

The topics in this section of the help describe the fundamental contents for every geodatabase: tables, features, and rasters. Start with the topic named Table basics and read all the following topics in this help section.

The architecture of the geodatabase

The topics in this section explain how features and rasters are stored in tables, why the geodatabase structure performs using simple features, and how it leverages relational database technology. See Architecture of a geodatabase. This information is not required to use the geodatabase. It provides good background information for the geodatabase and how you can leverage it in your daily use.

Designing a geodatabase

This is a practical overview on design and a simple procedure you can follow to help you build your geodatabase.

Feature class design

This feature class design topic helps to explain why you would extend a feature class with additional capabilities (such as a topology, network, or terrain) and points you to more information on implementation.

Building a geodatabase

Get started by creating a new geodatabase. These two topics are useful here:

Adding datasets to your geodatabase

To begin populating the contents of your geodatabase, see An overview of adding datasets to the geodatabase.

Adding advanced data elements to your geodatabase

When you want to progress further than the equivalent of working with shapefiles —for example, to add a topology, network, geocoding locator, or annotation—refer to the help topic named "Working with geodatabase datasets" in the "Building a geodatabase" help book. It contains a number of topics on extending your geodatabase to support various added capabilities—for example, all about adding a topology.

Geodatabase versioning and replication

When you want to work with multiuser geodatabases and distribute copies of your geodatabase across (and even outside) your organization, you'll use versioning and replication. See Understanding versioning for information on versioning. See Working with geodatabase replication for information on replication.

Using SQL to access and work with the geodatabase

These topics cover the SQL interface to spatial types managed in ArcSDE geodatabases. The SQL interface is supported for Informix, DB2, Oracle, PostgreSQL, and SQL Server. See Geodatabase access using SQL.

Administering ArcSDE geodatabases

Installing, configuring, maintaining, and tuning ArcSDE geodatabases are covered in the Administrator library under the Administering ArcSDE geodatabases topics.

Essential geodatabase readings from the ArcGIS Desktop Help