Creating a New Version of Map Each Time Edits Are Made (An Update Log)

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02-22-2021 01:00 PM
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DaltonAiken1
New Contributor II

This may be a stupid question, but I'm trying to figure out how to create an "Update Log" of all the edits made to a map. We work with cities to map their systems. There is a lot of back and forth, and updates are routinely made about the placement of infrastructure. I would like to save an original version of a map, and then save a new map each time edits are made with the date they were made. 

I tried creating a map package, making edits, and saving a new map package, but the edits are reflected on both. I understand that a map package is creating a "snapshot" of the original data at the time that it was packaged. So if you edit using a layer in a map extracted from a map package, then you are editing the feature class that is in the file geodatabase that was part of that map package. 

So is there a way to accomplish what I am trying to do? Storage space is not an issue, I would just like to have a record of all updates, and be able to go back to a previous version if necessary. Open to any suggestions.

Thank you, 

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jcarlson
MVP Notable Contributor

By "edits made to a map", do you mean the map itself, or feature layers within the map?

If the latter, how are users accessing the data? Is it a server resource, a shared file directory, something else?

I would strongly encourage looking into Versioning, if you have the server infrastructure in place to do it. Whether you go Branch or Traditional, it allows you to separate your users' edits into dedicated versions, which you can then compare to the "Default" version before merging the changes. This also gives you the ability to look at archived versions of a dataset at defined points in time.

- Josh Carlson
Kendall County GIS
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DaltonAiken1
New Contributor II

Josh, 

Thanks for the response. Versioning sounds like exactly what we are looking for. There are only two of us working in the GIS department. I have an ArcGIS Pro Standard license, but the other user has an ArcGIS Pro Basic license. I was reading that versioning requires the Standard or Advanced license, is this only to setup the versioning, or will both of us need standard to use it? 

Additionally, we are planning to store all of our files in Google Drive (previous employees had all files stored locally on one hard drive) do you see any issues using versioning in this way? 

Thank you!

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jcarlson
MVP Notable Contributor

Hm. I don't have any Basic Licenses here, so I am less familiar with potential limitations. You could attempt to test versioning on a throwaway database, to see if the other user can access and edit layers via versioning.

Versioning in ArcGIS requires an Enterprise Geodatabase, so Google Drive probably won't work for you there. Take a look at the distributed data page, as it touches on a few other strategies you might attempt.

Maybe take a look at GitHub? I'm not sure how well it would work with the pieces of a shapefile, but it could at least retain point-in-time version history, and allow you to look at two versions before merging the changes together.

- Josh Carlson
Kendall County GIS
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