What maps are associated with this shapefile/geodatabase?

06-25-2010 07:20 AM
Status: Under Consideration
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New Contributor II

My group has lots of data, and we are reluctant to delete anything for fear that that old shapefile might be attached to someone else's mxd.  Why not add a feature in ArcCatalog that would track what maps have been saved that are using a particular file? 

Right click>"Associated MXDs"

We had this discussion just the other day in our office.  It would be a tremendous help to know which map documents still use a data set before deleting it and causing all kinds of trouble!
I have the same moral quandary quite often.

It could be a kind of a crawler, or restricted to a certain folder/directory tree.  Perhaps it could be added to the ArcCatalog Search function.

It could be used to create a punch-list of maps that need to be fixed if we want to migrate/rename/delete data sources.
...and for bonus points, what maps use data within this area  [draw a box, select a polygon, etc.]
You can do this at ArcGIS DT 10 with Python using the new arcpy.mapping module. The following overview help topic states that one of the scenarios that arcpy.mapping was implemented was to create a list of maps that have layers referencing a certain data source:


There is a lot info in the help on how to do this. Also, the resource center has a sample toolbox that demo's many arcpy.mapping workflows, one of which is finding a specific data source in a folder of MXDs.

I think the OP solution would be a much more elegant answer to this problem with a Right click>Associated MXD's.  I can't get the script to give me any results, every time it says no results found and now it's simply crashing ArcCatalog over and over again.  I'd like to promote the idea but demote the implementation because it doesn't work.
Please do it!  This would be awesome x 10.
...and vice-versa: What data are associated with this mxd? Display summary of all data sources and other externally linked map and layout elements with management possibility e.g. Display and manage Map Document contents in ArcCatalog.
Status changed to: Under Consideration