Exercise 1: Organizing your data in the Catalog

Complexity: Beginner Data Requirement: ArcGIS Tutorial Data Setup Goal: Connect to and review the tutorial data.

Before you begin the tutorial, you must find and organize the data that you will need. This can be done using the Catalog window in ArcMap or the ArcCatalog application.

Connecting to data

In the Catalog, data is accessed through folder or database connections.

Database connections are used to access ArcSDE geodatabases.

This tutorial uses file geodatabases. File geodatabases are accessed through folder connections. Other data you can access through folder connections includes personal geodatabases, shapefiles, and coverages.

When you look in a folder connection, you can quickly see the folders and data sources it contains.

You will now begin organizing your data by creating a folder connection to it in ArcCatalog.

  1. Start ArcCatalog by clicking Start > All Programs > ArcGIS > ArcCatalog 10.
  2. Click the Connect To Folder button Connect To Folder on the ArcCatalog Standard toolbar.

    This opens the Connect to Folder dialog box.

  3. Navigate to the BuildingaGeodatabase folder on the local drive where you installed the tutorial data.
  4. Click OK on the Connect to Folder dialog box to establish a folder connection.

Your new folder connection is now listed in the Catalog tree. Now you can access all the data needed for the tutorial through that connection.

Exploring your data

Before you begin modifying the geodatabase, explore the datasets provided for the tutorial.

  1. Click the plus sign next to the BuildingaGeodatabase folder to see the datasets it contains.
  2. Click the laterals coverage in the folder to select it.
  3. Click the Preview tab to view the laterals geometry.
  4. Click the plus sign next to the Montgomery geodatabase, then double-click each feature dataset.

    This expands the feature datasets so you can see all the feature classes contained in each feature dataset.

  5. Click the owners.dat INFO table in the BuildingGeodatabase folder.

    Notice how the Preview type automatically changes to Table and displays the table's records. This table contains the owner information for the Parcels feature class in the Montgomery geodatabase. In the next part of this exercise, you will import this table into the geodatabase and create relationships between the parcels and their owners.

Now that you have found and organized your data in ArcCatalog, you are ready to start the first task in the tutorial—importing data into the geodatabase.

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