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Thread: Saving Layer Files in a File Geodatabase

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    Andrew Aslesen
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    Default Saving Layer Files in a File Geodatabase

    Hello, I am trying to do what ESRI wants me to and switch over from using shapefiles to using geodatabases in ArcEditor 10.0. I can't figure out how to move layer files or make new layer files in a geodatabase. The closest I can get is to go to "save as layer file" and save it in the "default geodatabase" file that was set up automatically, but once the layer file is in the default geodatabase, I can't move it into any other geodatabase.

    Any Suggestions? Maybe I'll just stick to shapefiles, I still don't see the value of switching.

  2. #2
    Robert LeClair

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    Default Re: Saving Layer Files in a File Geodatabase

    Hello,

    Okay so I'm a bit confused. Are you attempting to convert your shapefiles into a geodatabase format? If so, you have several options. You can use the tools in ArcToolBox to convert between formats. Go to Conversion Tools -> To Geodatabase -> Feature Class to Feature Class. You could also use ArcCatalog as well - right click on the shapefile(s) in question and select Export -> To Geodatabase (single).

    Layer Files (*.lyr) store the properties of a layer (such as symbology, labels, scale thresholds, etc.) in ArcMap and cannot be stored inside of a geodatabase.

    Hope this helps and feel free to contact me at rleclair@esri.com if you have additional questions.

    Cheers,

    Robert LeClair
    Esri-Denver

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    Andrew Aslesen
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    Default Re: Saving Layer Files in a File Geodatabase

    Thanks for the reply, I have the importing shapefiles into the geodatabase figured out, I just can't figure out how to import my layer files into the geodatabase, but it sounds like that is not possible (although it will let me do this if I save the layer file to the default geodatabase, so that must not be entirely accurate).

    So if you can't save layer files in the geodatabase do you just save them elsewhere? That just seams kind of clunky if you ask me. I like having everything in one place.

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    Robert LeClair

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    Default Re: Saving Layer Files in a File Geodatabase

    Understand. The *.lyr files are typically stored in a windows file folder and are designed for a couple purposes. The primary reason is to make the layer properties shareable amongst users locally or remote and secondly to give some organization to standalone feature classes in the geodatabase. As you explore geodatabases, you see something called a Feature Dataset. These are designed for geodatabase topology, networks, terrains, geometric networks but NOT for data organization. So to address this, *.lyr files could serve as an organizational stand-in.

    For example, I could have a layer file structure such as:

    c:\gis_data\lyr_files
    cadastral
    environmental
    transportation
    etc...

    Hope this helps!

    Robert

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    Andrew Aslesen
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    Default Re: Saving Layer Files in a File Geodatabase

    Thanks for the reply, The main reason I use layer files is to save my layer properties (mainly symbology and labels). I think what you are saying is that can't be done in a geodatabase, so I should simply have a different file tree with layer files in it to store my symbology.

    Thanks,

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    Sean Grant
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    Default Re: Saving Layer Files in a File Geodatabase

    Production Mapping (formally PLTS) uses a tool called the Product Library that is stored in a geodatabase that allows you to store any file type you want in the geodatabase. Think of it like a document management system for mapping, complete with version control and history. Our Aeronautical customers use it to store mxd's, PDF's, style files, layer files (if they don't use representations),xml's...etc. Our Maritime solution actually stores another geodatabase inside that geodatabases (in their case it is SQLExpress MDF files inside an Oracle database)

    Check it out here: http://help.arcgis.com/en/arcgisdesk...000028t000000/

    Here is the link to the Idea on the Esri Ideas site that asks for this functionality as well: http://ideas.arcgis.com/ideaView?id=08730000000882eAAA

    -Sean
    Last edited by sean4788; 04-20-2011 at 12:59 PM.

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    Andrew Aslesen
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    Default Re: Saving Layer Files in a File Geodatabase

    Thanks Sean

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    Andrew Aslesen
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    Default Re: Saving Layer Files in a File Geodatabase

    So is there any other way that is easier to store symbology for a layer besides using layer files?

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    Robert Hu
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    Default Re: Saving Layer Files in a File Geodatabase

    Quote Originally Posted by Rideaneversummer View Post
    So is there any other way that is easier to store symbology for a layer besides using layer files?
    How about representatioins?

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    Randy .
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    Default Re: Saving Layer Files in a File Geodatabase

    Quote Originally Posted by Rideaneversummer View Post
    So is there any other way that is easier to store symbology for a layer besides using layer files?
    Layer files were created for this very reason. It doesn't get much easier than this. What is it that you need to do that Layer Files can't do?

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    Andrew Aslesen
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    Default Re: Saving Layer Files in a File Geodatabase

    I looked that up, and I think that will work for me. Thanks for the suggestion

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    Mike Sullivan
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    Default Re: Saving Layer Files in a File Geodatabase

    This is so dumb that an ESRI person doesn't understand the original question! It's very simple to understand and of course you don't! I'm running into this same issue since there is no way to import KML linework directly into a Feature Class (FC) using Toolbox, and you can only create a layer file from it. Since this is the case, how am I suppose to get KML lines into a feature class? Oh and by the way, I'd like this to be a batch process since I have many KML files that I'll need to merge together into one FC. ESRI needs to start listening to it's customers instead of jumping onto the next "cool" thing!! Fix the application you have now so that it works the way it's suppose to, then move on to something else!

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    Andrew Revill
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    Default Re: Saving Layer Files in a File Geodatabase

    Hi,

    I am trying to save a layer file (i.e. layer symbology, colour, etc.) within a File Geodatabase so that I can send to others in an efficient manor so users do not have to keep on setting symbology. Is this possible? when ever I put the layer file within the Geodatabase it seems to 'forget' the appropriate symbology I set.

    Thanks,

    Andrew

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    William Craft
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    Default Re: Saving Layer Files in a File Geodatabase

    Quote Originally Posted by sennaa94 View Post
    This is so dumb that an ESRI person doesn't understand the original question! It's very simple to understand and of course you don't! I'm running into this same issue since there is no way to import KML linework directly into a Feature Class (FC) using Toolbox, and you can only create a layer file from it. Since this is the case, how am I suppose to get KML lines into a feature class? Oh and by the way, I'd like this to be a batch process since I have many KML files that I'll need to merge together into one FC. ESRI needs to start listening to it's customers instead of jumping onto the next "cool" thing!! Fix the application you have now so that it works the way it's suppose to, then move on to something else!
    You should reconsider saying such abusive things in a public forum, especially when you simply are not correct. You state that the individual from Esri did not understand the original question. Let’s dissect his response, shall we:

    Okay so I'm a bit confused. Are you attempting to convert your shapefiles into a geodatabase format? If so, you have several options. You can use the tools in ArcToolBox to convert between formats. Go to Conversion Tools -> To Geodatabase -> Feature Class to Feature Class. You could also use ArcCatalog as well - right click on the shapefile(s) in question and select Export -> To Geodatabase (single).Clarifies the vague problem that the original poster is having and offers multiple suggestions

    Layer Files (*.lyr) store the properties of a layer (such as symbology, labels, scale thresholds, etc.) in ArcMap and cannot be stored inside of a geodatabase. Describes what layer files are and implies they serve a different purpose than feature classes and shapefiles

    Hope this helps and feel free to contact me at rleclair@esri.com if you have additional questions.Offers genuine follow-up assistance in case the original poster has additional questions

    When I re-read Esri’s response in the context of the original issue posed in this thread, I think many would argue that the response is appropriate and well-written based on the information provided at the time.

    You then go on to complain that you aren’t able to “import KML lifework into a feature class” and that Esri should fix their software before rolling out new products, yet you seem not to be aware that this type of functionality already exists. Beginning years ago at the 10.0 release, the KML to Layer (Conversion) GP tool converts a KML or KMZ file into feature classes and a layer file. Here is the link since you obviously missed it: http://help.arcgis.com/en/arcgisdesk...0000004w000000.
    You should do your research before making such accusations.

    While we all have experienced challenges with Esri software at one point in time or another, I don’t think it warrants using abusive words like “dumb” when talking about ANYONE in the forums. Most of us are here to help those who seek technical assistance in a supportive and constructive manner. In the future, you should avoid making statements like you did here. You’ll only embarrass yourself in the end.

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    William Craft
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    Default Re: Saving Layer Files in a File Geodatabase

    As a follow up, if you're referring to the PLTS comment from the second esri staff member in this thread then I think my same comments apply. While a bit more advanced than may be required, the suggestion isn't out of the realm of possibilities if the original poster wants to store layer files inside the geodatabase. I still stand by my comments about your conduct.

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    Tom Moran
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    Default Re: Saving Layer Files in a File Geodatabase

    Quote Originally Posted by crafty762 View Post
    As a follow up, if you're referring to the PLTS comment from the second esri staff member in this thread then I think my same comments apply. While a bit more advanced than may be required, the suggestion isn't out of the realm of possibilities if the original poster wants to store layer files inside the geodatabase. I still stand by my comments about your conduct.
    While I agree with your points, I think the gripe is with the fact that there is not a tool available for a user to batch convert a group of KMZ's into either a .shp or feature class.

    Correct me if I'm wrong but this is what I took away from this.

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