Data Interoperability

Integrating multiple data sources is often crucial to building a system or completing a model. ArcGIS supports this need for interoperability with the following:

Extensibility Products

Extensibility products eliminate the barriers to data sharing and enable GIS professionals to use any standard data, regardless of the format.

Products offered include

  • ArcGIS Data Interoperability provides state-of-the-art direct data extraction, transformation, and loading (ETL) capabilities. This extension enables ArcGIS for Desktop users to easily use and distribute data in many formats.
  • ArcGIS for AutoCAD is a free application that allows CAD users to visualize and query GIS data without conversion in AutoCAD. CAD users can work directly with ArcGIS map services to add full GIS context to their AutoCAD sessions.
  • Esri Geoportal Server is a free and open source product that enables the discovery and use of geospatial resources by managing and maintaining their metadata. It supports several common metadata standards, including Federal Geographic Data Committee (FGDC), ISO INSPIRE, and Deblin Core.    

Metadata Capabilities

ArcGIS for Desktop products (Basic, Standard, and Advanced) allow users to create, manage, and edit metadata stored in an XML representation of Federal Geographic Data Committee (FGDC) Content for Digital Geospatial Metadata or the ISO 19115 Metadata Standard.

ArcIMS Metadata Services enable users to create a central, online metadata repository that facilitates publishing and browsing metadata over the Internet. The metadata documents stored as ArcIMS Metadata Services can then be accessed using any client that communicates using ArcXML, such as

  • ArcCatalog: ArcCatalog is the geographic and tabular data management, creation, and organization application for ArcGIS for Desktop.
  • ArcIMS Metadata Explorer: A set of Java Server Pages (JSP) can be used to build a customized, browser-based means of searching for metadata.
  • Z39.50 Clients: Z39.50 is a national standard that defines a protocol for computer-to-computer information retrieval.
  • ISO 239.50 Clients: ISO 239.50 is an international standard that defines a protocol for computer-to-computer information retrieval.

Database Models

The ArcGIS geodatabase architecture allows the creation of common or essential data models for specific industries and applications. ArcGIS data models provide ready-to-use, nonproprietary frameworks built on the accepted standards for modeling and capturing the behavior of real-world objects in a geodatabase. For more information, visit ArcGIS Data Models.

Open Data Formats

The shapefile spatial data format is open and published by Esri. A shapefile stores nontopological geometry and attribute information for the spatial features in a dataset. Shapefiles can support point, line, and area features. This file format is growing in adoption and capability to accommodate more complex spatial data; Esri will announce and publish changes as they are developed. Esri encourages developers and users to create interchange capabilities to both read and create shapefiles.

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