how to open a*.mdb file in ArcGIS 10?

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05-29-2012 12:46 PM
RoyaJoseph
New Contributor
Hi everybody,

I am totally new to GIS. My advisor has just given me a *.mdb file and I want to open it in ArcGIS 10. Not even sure if that's the right GIS product I should use!! I have been spending like 2 hours looking for a way to open the file but haven't been able to. Could somebody let m eknow how to do that?

Thanks
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5 Replies
HeatherMcCracken
Esri Contributor
Hi there,

An .mdb is a type of ESRI geodatabase - a personal geodatabase.  A geodatabase is essentially a collection of geographic datasets.  You can see the contents of your geodatabase using an ESRI application like ArcMap.  "ArcMap is where you display and explore GIS datasets for your study area, where you assign symbols, and where you create map layouts for printing or publication. ArcMap is also the application you use to create and edit datasets"

Here are a couple of links to web help topics which will help guide you.
Essentially, you can open ArcMap, open the catalog window, and navigate to your .mdb on disk, and you will be able to discover the contents of your geodatabase.  Using ArcMap you can visualize and analyze your data etc.

It may seem overwhelming at the moment - but I hope these topics will have everything you need.

Best of luck!  Let us know how it goes or if you have any questions.
-Heather


What is a geodatabase:
http://help.arcgis.com/en/arcgisdesktop/10.0/help/index.html#/What_is_a_geodatabase/003n000000010000...

Types of Geodatabases:
http://help.arcgis.com/en/arcgisdesktop/10.0/help/index.html#/Types_of_geodatabases/003n000000070000...

What is ArcMap:
http://help.arcgis.com/en/arcgisdesktop/10.0/help/index.html#/What_is_ArcMap/006600000001000000/

Starting ArcMap:
http://help.arcgis.com/en/arcgisdesktop/10.0/help/index.html#/Starting_ArcMap/00660000000p000000/

Adding Layers to a map:
http://help.arcgis.com/en/arcgisdesktop/10.0/help/index.html#/Adding_layers_to_a_map/00660000000t000...

What is the Catalog window:
http://help.arcgis.com/en/arcgisdesktop/10.0/help/index.html#/What_is_the_Catalog_window/00sn0000000...
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JoeBorgione
MVP Esteemed Contributor
Hi everybody,

I am totally new to GIS. My advisor has just given me a *.mdb file and I want to open it in ArcGIS 10. Not even sure if that's the right GIS product I should use!! I have been spending like 2 hours looking for a way to open the file but haven't been able to. Could somebody let m eknow how to do that?

Thanks


.mdb typically indicates a Microsoft Access Data Base.

In ArcGIS, one can create what is known as a personal geodatabase to store spatial data. Built into ArcGIS is the Microsoft Database Engine which allows this functionality; you do not need Access installed.  The database provided to you may or may not hold spatial data.  It might just be a generic Access database.

A good place to start is here; the online help.  Click on the data management link and then the  Managing Geodatases link for geodatabase information.

[edited moments after posting:  Looks like Heather with ESRI beat me to it.  Her reply must have come through as I was typing mine.  Now you've got some consitent information to follow through with.  Good luck! ]

Hope this helps-
That should just about do it....
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RoyaJoseph
New Contributor
Thank you very much guys.

The links you sent were really helpful. Now I have another problem! I could open my file and build my layers to a map which is the manholes of the sewer pipe in an American city. Now I want to overlap it with the actual geographical map from google earth. Is there a way to do that?

Thank you.....
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NicoleWilliams1
New Contributor
I downloaded a *.mdb file that I ideally want to open in ArcMap. I can open the file in ArcCatalog, and in MS Access, however, ArcMap 10 cannot see the file. It does not even seem to exist. Do I need to convert the file somehow? Should I try converting each of hte files into shapefiles? I would prefer to open the origional database to ensure I catch everything and it lines up properly.

Thanks!
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NidhinKarthikeyan
Regular Contributor II
Thank you very much guys.

The links you sent were really helpful. Now I have another problem! I could open my file and build my layers to a map which is the manholes of the sewer pipe in an American city. Now I want to overlap it with the actual geographical map from google earth. Is there a way to do that?

Thank you.....


-You can convert the Feature class into KML. The KML file can be overlayed in google earth.
-To overlap the satellite image or google earth image in ArcMap, then you have to georeference the image.
-Feature class can be overlapped in ArcMap by adding data from ArcGIS Online/Web Map.
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