Best Storage Solution for Undergrad Students

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3 weeks ago
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DavidLambert1
New Contributor II

ArcGIS Pro 3.0

What is the best storage site for GIS data for undergraduates in a computer lab-based class?  Students cannot store on the lab computers as the data and projects are wiped nightly.  MS One-Drive may work or students Google drive.  Not sure if MyESRI site is a good solution for students, seems clunky.  I will ask them to backup on thumb drives but inevitably, some students will lose the device.  Looking for the most accessible solution.

 

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DanPatterson
MVP Esteemed Contributor

Package Project (Data Management)—ArcGIS Pro | Documentation

work local, then package the project and backup onto a thumb drive and/or a virtual one.

Do not suggest that they use the googly-thing as part of their project since things won't always go well..

We did that for years before project packaging with simply zip and copy solutions


... sort of retired...
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DavidLambert1
New Contributor II

Thanks  that is something I will look into

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mrmark
by
Occasional Contributor

David,

Any cloud option (Dropbox, Box, Onedrive, Google Drive) + Geodatabases = corruption sooner or later. You can read Esri's official stance and why it doesn't work in this technical support document.

Because our university pushed everyone to Box.com a few years ago, our Geography department has purchased a large file server and provides a network share that students can access. Geography majors and students taking GIS courses get a folder that is automatically mapped to a drive letter when they sign in. The library provides some network space for others, but it is not permanent. Civil Engineering also provides some network storage to their students but it is very limited. 

We experimented with a product that allowed mapping cloud storage to drive letters and would force local caching of any files used prior to opening / use. While we didn't have problems with data corruption, it was PAINFULLY slow. In testing it was MUCH faster to just have people copy their project folder / data from the cloud service to the local machine. Work on it in ArcGIS, then copy it back. It works fine for smaller projects and datasets, but isn't feasible when they have terrabytes of imagery etc. 

For those without access to a file server on the network, external hard drives are the most common solution

 

DavidLambert1
New Contributor II

I will share this with our IT folks.   For the most part, we just need to store layer and data files.  This seems like the most manageable solution.  

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AyanPalit
Esri Contributor

@DavidLambert1 MyEsri is certainly not intended for project data. ArcGIS Online does have options to host data layers. I second options suggested by @mrmark 

Ayan Palit | Principal Consultant Esri
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DavidLambert1
New Contributor II

I'm still new to ArcGIS online, coming from ArcGIS Desktop world, so I have to do some additional research on using Online.

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BrianBaldwin
Esri Regular Contributor

@DavidLambert1 - What university are you at? If you want to jump on a call and talk through it/discuss it - just let me know. Feel free to send me an e-mail: bbaldwin@esri.com 

Brian Baldwin, Esri Inc., Senior Solution Engineer
https://www.linkedin.com/in/baldwinbrian
BrianBaldwin
Esri Regular Contributor

@DavidLambert1 - The other option - and one that @AyanPalit mentions - is having students simply host their data in ArcGIS Online.

It really depends on the workflow - but if students are using layers/data for visualization - a faculty member can pre-publish those and provide them in a group for students to access. Students could then save a copy of the map and modify the symbology, layers, pop-ups, etc. 

If they need to conduct analysis or modify the actual data (calculate values, etc.) - they could host their own data and then access those layers with either ArcGIS Pro or ArcGIS Online.

Let us know how things go as well!

Brian Baldwin, Esri Inc., Senior Solution Engineer
https://www.linkedin.com/in/baldwinbrian
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