Using folder connections
It's a good idea to organize GIS contents into a set of commonly used workspace folders. These are file folders on disk used to organize your GIS projects. They contain map documents, layers, file geodatabases, geoprocessing tools, scripts, and so on.
An initial task in using the Catalog window is to establish a series of connections to the workspace folders that you want to use. Folder connections are used to access the file folders whose content you plan to work with in ArcGIS.
Location of the map's Home folder
Each map has a Home folder, which is the folder in which the map document is stored. You can use the Home folder as the common location for organizing many of the contents used in your map document, such as a file geodatabase and its datasets, layer files, and other GIS information related to your map.
Steps for creating additional folder connections
The Catalog window gives you a mechanism for connecting to and working with GIS information in a number of workspace folders. The initial task is to establish a folder connection to each.
- Navigate to Folder Connections in the catalog window tree.
- Right-click the Folder Connections item and choose Connect Folder.
- Type the path or navigate to the desired workspace folder and click OK.
Working with folder connections in the Catalog window
Once you have established a folder connection, you can use the Catalog window to click the folder name and navigate to its contents. For example:
- To open an existing map document, navigate to its folder location and double-click the map document to open it in ArcMap.
- To add new layers to ArcMap, drag datasets and layer files from a folder in the Catalog tree onto your map canvas. Use the same procedure to add items to a geoprocessing tool or into ModelBuilder.
- You can click items in a folder and see their properties and description in the Contents window.