Use Feature Template to add Fields to Other features

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08-05-2020 11:25 AM
KateRose
New Contributor III

Is it possible to create a feature template from an existing feature with all its fields and attributes, then apply that template to other existing features that already have some but not all of the template's fields? In other words, I want to use the template to add fields to an existing feature. If this is possible, how? Thanks

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5 Replies
Scott_Harris
Esri Regular Contributor

Hi Kate,

Not possible since feature templates are specific to a single source layer, but what is the goal? How would it help you if this was possible?

Thanks,

Scott

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KateRose
New Contributor III

Thanks for the answer, Scott.

I have about 25 shapefiles that I inherited from an earlier project (polygons depicting geomorphic features) and I want to add a new set of fields to each of them so I can map different attributes. I had just been adding fields in the attribute tables, which is pretty easy. I've now decided that I want to have a few alternative versions of each of the 25 features (i.e. 25 features with type A set of fields,  25 features with type B set of fields ...).

I haven't used feature templates before but saw a demo during the UC and thought they would help with this situation, that perhaps I could create a feature template from one of the features, add fields to it, then apply it to the rest of the features for type A set of fields, then repeat that for type B, C, D... alternatives. I kinda think I just need to spend more time with the Add Fields tool though.  

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KateRose
New Contributor III

Or I could just create one all-inclusive (alternative A, B, C, D...) set of fields and apply them to each of the 25 features, then just filter out the fields I don't want to use when creating maps of the different alternatives. Again, I could just use Add Field or copy and paste in the attribute tables BUT I am going to want to edit some of the polygons or create new,, modified features from the existing ones so I guess that's where templates would help? 

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Scott_Harris
Esri Regular Contributor

Hi Kate,

Feature Templates are only used when creating new features, so I'm not sure they can help when you need to modify features.

I'm sure there is a more elegant solution to this. Perhaps related to data management with feature classes or layers. Like you mentioned, instead of 25 feature classes, it sounds like you could consolidate them into a single feature class if they all share a lot of the same fields. What fields are visible at the layer level control what are visible in the feature template (not sure if that is relevant to a solution, but wanted to put that out there).

P.S. I found this when researching possible schema solutions for geologic maps: NGMDB | GeMS  Perhaps there are ideas in there on how to structure the data? I'm not really sure

Thanks,

Scott

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KateRose
New Contributor III

This is very helpful, Thanks! I think templates will be useful at a later stage when I get around to creating new features based on the existing ones, not so much at this stage of the project (I do eventually want to consolidate all the features into one, but am still figuring out the right organization of fields and which ones to include).