Maximum number of subtypes before performance degrades?

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09-10-2018 04:34 PM
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Occasional Contributor

Hi there - 

We're looking at a couple of options for the schema design of some city sign data. We have roughly 80,000 street signs in our dataset. In some ways, it would be nice to have a subtype for each sign type that we have (then we could set default values for each sign type, although the downside is that we have over 900 unique sign types... so we'd need that many subtypes. Adding these subtypes via Python takes a few hours, and the feature class responsiveness seems to decline as our number of subtypes increases. 

I looked, but wasn't able to find any specific guidelines for the maximum effective number of subtypes that can be used. Do any of you know of one? Or just have advice based on your own experiences. 

Thanks!

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4 Replies
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Occasional Contributor III

I've never heard of leveraging that many subtypes. At an old employer, we had nearly 50 subtypes for different electrical transformer configurations, this didn't seem to affect the lagginess of the db. I'm curious if different feature classes wouldn't serve you better - only for the ease of use for your mappers / field crew...just picture editing and having to select one of 900 items in a list either in Desktop or in Collector. Perhaps you could split the signs into 9 different classes and then have a list of 100 in each? You could still subtype them out, you'd just reduce the number of items your folks have to scroll through. Just a thought.

Please let us know what you decide to do and what your results are, I'm quite curious

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Occasional Contributor

Thanks for your reply. I think we're leaning away from having 900 individual subtypes, and leaning into using a more broad "category" for subtype, then have domain lists of possible values from there..... just as you suggest above. We still have a ways to go, but I'll be sure to add what our final solution was when we get there. 

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Regular Contributor II

Hi

If default value is all you need you should use Feature template ( About feature templates—Help | ArcGIS Desktop  )

It should not affect your geodatabase just your desktop.

Subtypes can be used to assign different domain for each type - I do not think you need it.

Have fun

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Occasional Contributor

The only drawback for feature templates is that we can't script their creation via python and don't want to be faced with creating 900+ feature templates manually.... especially if default values might change over time. 

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