How much geoprocessing history is kept in item description?

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06-24-2015 08:58 AM
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Frequent Contributor

I often turn to geoprocessing history in an item's description to remind myself of the steps that were taken to produce a particular data layer. A problem I keep running into though, is that the geoprocessing history just stops at a certain date in the past, and doesn't show the most recent history, which is usually the crucial part I want to examine. Is there a way to change this? Are these more recent geoprocessing steps hidden away somewhere else?

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MVP Esteemed Contributor

I have never seen it not keep things close to the present?

I have set my  ...

Geoprocessing, Geoprocessing options

     Log geoprocessing operations to a log file ..... toggle off

     Results Management

          Keep results younger than  ....  I have mine set to 2 weeks ... there is a 'never delete' option

much might be gleaned from finding out where stuff is deleted when you want it really cleared out...see

How to remove geoprocessing history in ArcGIS 10.2.2 for Desktop? - Geographic Information Systems S...

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Frequent Contributor

Just to clarify, I'm not talking about the results window, but rather the metadata for a data layer.

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Frequent Contributor

So I looked in the History folder described in the Stack Exchange thread. I see a long list of XML files there, but what are they? How do I view them, and, once viewed, how would I associate them with a particular feature class? It's the recent history that doesn't seem to be retained, so setting a longer time in geoprocessing options won't help.

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MVP Esteemed Contributor

don't know, except for shapefiles, the xml associated with it may contain the stuff you need and can be viewed in a browser.   For example...

C:\Users\ME\AppData\Roaming\ESRI\Desktop10.3\ArcToolbox\History

When I need details, I log details through a geoprocessing log and/or my own notes in *.txt format.  I actually prefer notes since you can comment in them...details which aren't going to be kept in any other logging system.

For critical files. I keep temporal backups whose time-spacing is the amount of time I don't mind wasting if things go south.  I have done this since you had to span a zip file across floppy disks.  Today with usb drives and other external drives, it is easy. 

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Frequent Contributor

I keep notes too. That won't help if you make a mistake, or don't do what you thought you did. I second guess myself ALL the time, so the history for each data layer can be a really useful way of going back and seeing if you messed up in some way. It can also CYA when questions about data come up (or not ), months after the fact. I can't find any documented reason why this history doesn't extend all the way to the present, for some data. Maybe it's a bug of some kind?

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MVP Esteemed Contributor

Using version 10.3.x  apparently there was a change at version 10.0 and 'stuff' prior to that was kept in a different format...then it blathered on about doing this and that to see the old stuff...

As my eyes glazed over, I stumbled upon this link...I am sure there is an equivalent one, if you explore the online arctoolbox help tree for a similarly named topic

"http://desktop.arcgis.com/en/desktop/latest/manage-data/metadata/creating-and-managing-fgdc-metadata..."

Creating and managing FGDC metadata—Help | ArcGIS for Desktop

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Well I suppose I could try upgrading the metadata. We only switched to 10.3 last week though. Prior to that we had been using 10.2 since whenever that came out (years). In my screenshot example, the metadata stopped circa October 2014. It seems unlikely to be related.

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MVP Esteemed Contributor

When did 10.0 come out?

About that time? and

Were you working on those files using 9.3?

That is the only clue that I have that there "was change in the wind" between 9.3 and 10 and perhaps you need to update the metadata handler to look into the past

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Frequent Contributor

October of last year? Not quite...  10.0 came out in 2010 .

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