How much geoprocessing history is kept in item description?

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06-24-2015 08:58 AM
SepheFox
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?

18 Replies
XanderBakker
Esri Esteemed Contributor

There is some explanation here: ArcGIS Help (10.2, 10.2.1, and 10.2.2)

If I look at the folder I see the history per version since installation until last usage (today for 10.3).

SepheFox
Frequent Contributor

Thanks for your comment. So, the help file you linked says:

"Each geoprocessing tool that creates new output data or updates the input data will add metadata about the execution of the geoprocessing tool, which includes the tool name, its location, and the parameters used. This behavior can be disabled in desktop applications by un-checking the Log geoprocessing operations to a log file option found in the Geoprocessing > Geoprocessing Options dialog box. In a Python script, logging of geoprocessing history can be disabled using the SetLogHistory function.

Metadata for a dataset is viewed by right-clicking a dataset in the Catalog window or ArcCatalog and choosing Item Description."

You can see I do have that box checked in geoprocessing options:

I performed a test, a simple export of an FC to a shapefile, just now. Here is the item description window for the output, showing results only up to October of last year:

Do you see what I'm saying? I'm wondering if there is some kind of limit on the length of the geoprocessing history.

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XanderBakker
Esri Esteemed Contributor

I just did a small test with a featureclass created earlier today. I exported it to a new fgdb and added two fields (one using the toolbox and the other manually) and filled it with some data (one using the toolbox and the other do a normal field calculation).

The item description shows that it was created from the other input (creation of the field, spatial index) and the additional of the field through the toolbox and the calculation of both fields. So only the manually added field has not been logged.

See attachment.

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SepheFox
Frequent Contributor

Right, that is the expected behavior. Problem is, that's not what's happening for me, particularly with datasets that have a very loooooong history. See my previous attachments.

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DanPatterson_Retired
MVP Esteemed Contributor

Then you should try updating the metadata handler as I suggested regardless of when you started using 10.  It is worth a shot and you can always switch back

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SepheFox
Frequent Contributor

Ok, I upgraded to the ArcGIS Metadata for this test layer. No dice. Same result after I exported the file again:

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DanPatterson_Retired
MVP Esteemed Contributor

hmmmm what does the

Include in lineage when exporting metadata  No 

line mean?  Should this be Yes if you want it to be included for future reference? Does that mean that it won't be included.  I guess there must be some place that you can toggle it on and off .  I wonder if the history does get exported when you make copies via exporting...I can't check since I don't have any files that are over a year old that I have done 'stuff' to.

SepheFox
Frequent Contributor

I don't know, but it's not editable, at least in the metadata. For the edification of all, I did a clip operation on my test file. Results still stop at that last 2014-10-09 process in the resulting feature class.

Are you sure you don't have metadata over a year old? The geprocessing history carries forward from the original layers, which incidentally seems like part of the problem. Perhaps the Geoprocessing history can only be so long? You would think, if that was the case, it would delete the older entries first.  No one needs a record of all the permission changes that happened to the SDE version over the years.

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AmyKnight
New Contributor III

I wonder if this problem ever got fully resolved, or if you are able to see gp history in metadata for new files & operations?  We are having a problem with any geoprocessing history being written to the metadata in 10.3.  I read other threads related to this problem in 10.2 and we conform with all the settings suggested there, i.e. disable background processing, make sure log geoprocessing operations is checked on.  We cannot get any geoprocessing operations to record in the metadata and have tried upgrading to/from various versions. 

The odd thing is the geoprocessing history did appear in ArcGIS metadata for a file GDB after I compacted it today.  But none for feature classes or rasters created as a result of geoprocessing operation.  We need this function and are stumped.

Thanks to anyone who can shed light on this.

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