Esri’s ArcGIS Parcel Editing Solution (Parcel Fabric) has created much discussion amongst GIS and Land Records professionals. Many are curious to learn more about it and are evaluating if the solution is right for them. One common misconception is that the Parcel Editing Solution can be used to clean data. The data model, simply put, is not a data cleaning model. Esri provides staging geodatabases with the topology required for loading data. However, we have found that additional cleaning is often required. Since all features in a Fabric are connected via shared points, any edits to a feature that are incorrectly or unnecessarily matched to an adjacent feature will significantly degrade performance. Thus, loading unclean data into the model will only perpetuate existing problems and make using the ArcGIS Parcel Editing Solution an almost futile effort.
The ArcGIS Parcel Editing Solution offers tremendous benefits in accuracy and efficiencies including helping to maintain data integrity. However, failing to clean your data before converting to the model will result in performance issues and most likely result in an unsuccessful implementation.
Some of the issues that will arise with poor data are:
- Features do not line up correctly (Gaps and Overlaps) and subsequently will not be connected to adjacent features.
- Excessive/unnecessary vertices can cause a Fabric to get large quickly if not fixed, resulting in poor editing performance and defeating the purpose of the Fabric lines being able to store recorded COGO attributes used to create dimensions.
- Excessive/unnecessary vertices can also make features nearly impossible to edit when present, especially with large complex features.
The most common types of features that can impact performance significantly are shared parcel boundaries along road rights-of-way and water bodies if they are not processed correctly.
These are several important factors to consider when contemplating a conversion to the Parcel Fabric. It is especially important when comparing quotes from vendors to ensure that all the required cleaning is included. A price might seem lower, but if data clean-up is not part of the scope, it might end up costing you more in the long run. We want your conversion to be a success and we make every effort to make certain it is. Therefore, the quality of the source data determines what approach to take with the conversion regarding data cleaning and preparation steps. The conversion to the ArcGIS Parcel Editing Solution should be a one-time conversion if it is done right the first time.