GIS/GPS – editing spatial datasets

There are many editing or geoprocessing options within ArcGIS. Both Raster and Vector files can be altered, however, most editng is done with vector files.

We are currently running ArcSDE, which keeps all of our GIS datasets in a single geodatabase. This allows all the users to access all the datasets simultaneously. It also has the capacity to allow multiple users to edit the same dataset, however, since we only want to maintain a single set of datasets, it is not possible for RMBL users to edit datasets directly from the geodatabase. In order to edit a dataset, you must first export it from the geodatabase.

Exporting Data

Open ArcCatalog

Navigate to Database Connections

Double-click GISdatasets.sde

Highlight the file of interest

Right click and choose Export

How you export depends on what you are exporting.

If you are exporting a vector file, then you should select “To Shapefile (single)”. If you are exporting a raster, then you should select “Raster to Different Format”. You can either add a .tif or .img (to export it as a geotiff or Imagine file) tag on the end of the file name or leave it without a tag and it will export as an ESRI grid (default). Keep in mind that the metadata will not be exported with the data.

Exporting and Importing Metadata

In order to get a metadata file, you must highlight the file in the geodatabase in ArcCatalog

Click on the Metadata tab

click on the export button in the toolbar

Choose Format = FGDC CSDGM (SGML)

browse to the appropriate location

Click OK.

Then, you can import the metadata into your data.

To do this, navigate to the folder where you exported the dataset

Highlight the file

Click on the Metadata tab

Click on the import metadata tool

Browse to where you stored the metadata when you exported

Select Format = FGDC CSDGM (SGML).

Editing Data

Open ArcMap

Add in the file of interest using the black and yellow plus sign (+)

Make sure that the Editor toolbar is open.

If it is not, go to View Toolbars Editor.

Click the Editor pull-down menu and choose ‘starting editing’

Select the folder which includes the file you want to edit.

Make sure that your file is selecting in the target pulldown.

Now you can add/delete/alter points, lines, and polygons.

When you are finished, click the editor pull-down menu and choose stop editing

Save edits (if you want to). Remember, once you save edits, you cannot undo. The changes are permanent.