MXD and LYR management

04-11-2014 06:10 AM
Status: Open
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by Anonymous User
Not applicable
Date entered: 2006,2007

PUG Usability List Session: This is one of six issues related to map management. This is the subject of a research project in ESRI to extend the Geodatabase to include maps, layers, layouts, styles, and provide layer and MXD management functions.  This will include a folder concept for organizing a objects within the Geodatabase. It will allow for relative paths within the geodatabase or for references across multiple databases. Tools will be developed to address the problem of broken links.  For example, shifting data to a new Geodatabase instance should be easy to fix.  This will include enhancing ArcCatalog as well.  However, these new features will come after the 9.3 version.  From the audience, things that users would like to see include:

-   Date/time stamp on data in the Geodatabase

-   Ability to archive maps, layers, and data from the Geodatabase

-   A search tool in the ArcMap table of contents

-   A map view in ArcCatalogCurrently tools don"t give a holistic view of a GIS project (maps, layers and the referenced data) from a data management perspective.  What would be nice would be a catalog of the layers and data referenced within a GIS project.ESRI is working on some coarse grained objects which would be independent of the type of geodatabase (SDE, file, personal). Map publishing and archiving are two different things.  Saving old data is not the same as project packaging and shipping, although both are needed.2007 ESRI UC This is a real challenge and everyone seems to need better organization for data management.  ESRI basic direction is to extend the geodatabase to include all components of projects to store maps and layers in the geodatabase. ESRI is working on some automated "harvesting" of federated datastores.  Some of these features will be coming as part of ArcGIS Server in the first service pack after the 9.3 release. One problem with all of these issues is that good or at least ''some'' metadata is a requirement.  A user action item would be to post on this wiki the core metadata elements.Short term, there is a "GIS Portal Toolkit" which may have some useful tools. This is built on ArcIMS.A suggestion from the audience (Ian Allen?) is to have a look at the [ Metatools] application from Spatial Dimension.Also, XTools Pro version 5 has some good tools.  2008 ESRI UC San DiegoBrian Boulmay summarized the issue of broken links and other problems with managing links between GIS files.  ESRI said a "work-around" in the form of scripting is possible in 9.4.  The script would allow one to fix a batch of maps to correct links.  They also mentioned other ArcScripts as temporary fixes.  Previous comments from Clint indicated this was part of 10.0 development plans.Post 2008 ESRI UC FollowupBased on a user experience scenario from Grant Tucker, this ArcScript tool has been created: Catalog add-in reads an Excel spreadsheet and alters MXD or LYR files in a directory to re-map their data sources according to the spreadsheet's contents.  Many thanks to the author, Susan Jones, and please direct feedback to her and Bruce Harold at ESRI ( on Sample ScriptThis sample script is a real gem. With a little error trapping, progress logging, and recursive folder processing this would become a robust data manager tool. There are some limitations: it will not remap file-based data to SDE. It does not handle remapping table joins or tabular data. It does not address IMS or AGS services. It's an 80% solution and a lot better than correcting MXD and LYR files one at a time. Thanks to Bruce and Susan for providing some sort term solutions while we wait for this type of data management functionality to make it into the core product. [ Grant Tucker, Shell]PUG 2009 ESRI Comments:  At ArcGIS version 9.4 ESRI will be releasing a new python module called arcpy. Arcpy will make it possible to access, manage, and update map documents and layers using python. This will make it possible to write simple scripts to update broken data sources, find bloken links, update layer symbol properties, catalog maps and layers being stored in your systems, and create reports. In addition to the new python scripting functionality, new search capabilities are being added to ArcGIS to help find data, layers, maps, and symbols that exist on your systems. The new search will help with your data access and data management. David Watkins/ESRI 2011 PUG Damian Spangrud: This was addressed at 10.0 with the arcpy.mapping Python module. This allows you to write scripts and create script tools to update layer file and map properties including updating data sources. You can also write your own map document reporting and  management tools using Python. Additional work is being done at 10.1 to the arcpy.mapping module that will improve the data management functions and add additional functions for generating reports from the new (10.0) report writer, and addting the ability to update the classification renderers.== See also ==See [ discussion] section of this article where a concept has been posted for comment.Note: Reassigned to category "Mapping" per Rupert Essinger's  
1 Comment
by Anonymous User
 Pug Idea List 2014:  David Watkins, ESRI Lead
See history. No additional progress has been made on this issue since the script tool developed. We understand that you want a "more robust" solution.