Exercise 2: Importing data into your geodatabase

Complexity: Beginner Data Requirement: ArcGIS Tutorial Data Setup Goal: Import a coverage and INFO table. Create aliases for a feature class and its columns.

Before you can start adding behavior to your data, you must move it into a geodatabase. You will import two datasets into the Montgomery geodatabase‚ÄĒlaterals and owner.dat.

The laterals coverage contains water laterals for the Montgomery water dataset, and the owner.dat INFO table contains owner information for the parcel features already in the geodatabase.

Importing a coverage

  1. In ArcCatalog, right-click the Water feature dataset in the Montgomery geodatabase, point to Import, then click Feature Class (multiple).

    This tool is used to specify your input coverage, output geodatabase, and output feature class. Because you opened this tool by right-clicking a feature dataset, the output geodatabase, Montgomery, and feature dataset, Water, are already filled in for you.

  2. There are several ways to set the input and output datasets. You can also drag a dataset or datasets from the ArcCatalog tree or Contents tab and drop them on the text box. Alternatively, you can click the Browse button to open the ArcCatalog minibrowser and navigate to your dataset or type the full path name to the dataset in the text box.

  3. Click the Browse button, navigate to the arc feature class in the laterals coverage, and click Add.
  4. Click OK to run the Feature Class To Geodatabase (multiple) tool.

    While the tool is running, a progress bar appears in the lower right corner of ArcCatalog. When the tool completes, a pop-up message appears. You can click this to open the Results pane to see any messages that were generated while running the tool.

    The laterals_arc feature class is now in the Water feature dataset.

  5. In the ArcCatalog tree, navigate to and click the laterals_arc feature class.
  6. Press the F2 key, then type Laterals to rename the feature class.
  7. Click the Preview tab to see the features.

Creating aliases for a feature class and its fields

The geodatabase lets you create aliases for fields, tables, and feature classes. An alias is an alternative name to refer to those items. Unlike true names, aliases can contain special characters, such as spaces, because they don't have to adhere to the database's object name limitations.

When you use data with aliases in ArcMap, the alias name is automatically used for feature classes, tables, and fields. However, in ArcCatalog, these items are always represented by their true names.

You will now create aliases for your new feature class and its fields.

  1. Right-click the Laterals feature class in the Water feature dataset and click Properties.
  2. Click the General tab.
  3. Type Water laterals in the Alias text box.
  4. Click the Fields tab.
  5. Click the OBJECTID field and type Feature identifier for its alias.
  6. Repeat this process to assign aliases to the following fields:




    Geometry field


    Depth buried


    Recorded length


    Facility identifier


    Installation date


    Subtype code

  7. When you finish adding all the aliases, click OK to close the Feature Class Properties dialog box.

Now that you have imported the Laterals feature class into the geodatabase and added some aliases, you are ready to import the owner.dat INFO table.

Importing the INFO table

The owner.dat INFO table contains owner information for the parcels in the Parcels feature class in the Montgomery geodatabase. To be able to create relationships between the parcels and their owners, the owner information must be imported into the Montgomery geodatabase. You will use the Table (single) import tool to import the owner.dat INFO table into the Montgomery geodatabase. You will then create aliases for the table.

  1. Right-click the Montgomery geodatabase, point to Import, then click Table (single).
  2. Drag and drop the owners.dat INFO table from the Catalog tree to the Input Rows text box of the Table to Table dialog box.
  3. Type Owners in the Output Table text box.
  4. Click OK.
  5. When the tool finishes, click the Owners table in the Montgomery geodatabase in the Catalog tree.
  6. Click the Preview tab.
  7. Right-click the Owners table and click Properties to see the properties of the table.
  8. Type Parcel owners for the alias for this table.
  9. Click the Fields tab and type the following field aliases:




    Object identifier


    Owner name


    Percentage ownership


    Date of deed

  10. Click OK.

The data in the laterals coverage and owners.dat INFO table is now in the Montgomery geodatabase.

Now you can take advantage of the geodatabase by applying behavior to your data. You will begin this task by creating subtypes and attribute domains. See Exercise 3: Creating subtypes and attribute domains.

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