A Question on Linking a Tabular Database to a seperate Spatial Layer

03-11-2015 01:28 PM
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New Contributor

I'm currently working with an ArcGIS based resource database. The workflow consists of creating tabular data, then at a later point spatial data can be digitized in association with the tabular. I also have a separate spatial layer dealing with the same resource.

My problem is that, as it stands, I have two layers that hold spatial locations for the same resource, and one that holds the tabular. I wanted to streamline this to having only one spatial layer, and one tabular layer, with the two linked together. What I'm currently stumbling on though, is that the tabular database doesn't have a built in way of linking to a spatial location. You can only digitize spatial locations using the workflow of that layer. (A simple join or relate wouldn't work in this case as one, the link has to be independent of a single map, and two, the database is currently set up so that sites are only outwardly expressed in the attribute table when a spatial location is digitized)

Is there a way, either through a scripted process that can be added, or an already built ArcGIS pathway/tool, to link spatial data in one layer, to tabular data in another layer, while keeping those layers separate, but having this link be a built in feature for the tabular layer? (The reverse is not necessary since the spatial layer includes not only sites relevant to my database, but other databases as well. I want to essentially have one primary spatial layer for multiple uses).

Any thoughts or advice would be greatly appreciated. I currently can't find anything that quite fits what I'm aiming for.

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Regular Contributor

If understanding correctly, your table in geodatabase does not have any 'Foreign Key - FK', so that it couldn't allows you to link (join, or relate) with one of  two existing GIS layers. Is it corrct?

If true, you are required to 'manually' create the FK, which ensures that this FK can be refered to one of  two existing GIS layers. Pls refer to Relational database - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia