Which spatial storage type is my data stored in?


This question has come up a few times recently and I thought this article would be useful for other users wanting making use of different geometry storage types in a Enterprise Geodatabase.

Spatial types are data types that store geometry data. All the spatial information is stored in the spatial column; there are no side feature tables. Having the spatial information in one field makes it easier to access the spatial data outside of ArcGIS.

Spatial types have associated functions or methods that are used to access and manipulate the data using Structured Query Language (SQL).

Each database management system used to store enterprise geodatabases provides specific geometry storage mechanisms. Geodatabases stored in Oracle, Microsoft SQL Server, or PostgreSQL provide multiple geometry storage options. The default option for PostgreSQL and Oracle is ST_GEOMETRY and for Microsoft SQL Server the default is GEOMETRY.

For each database management system used to store enterprise geodatabases, a specific set of configuration keywords is available by default.

Configuration keywords group parameters and parameter values under one heading (the keyword). The parameters and parameter values specify storage options for datasets in the geodatabase. One such storage option is the geometry storage.

When creating a new feature class in a geodatabase you can select a configuration keyword associated to the geometry storage option you would like to use.

Geoprocessing tools used to import data into an Enterprise Geodatabase also include the option to specify the configuration keyword to use to store the data.

You can also verify the geometry storage option used for a specific feature class on the Source tab of the Properties dialog box of a feature class in ArcGIS Pro.

Lastly, you can use Python scripting and the ArcPy site package to extract the geometry storage information for a feature class from the geodatabase using the Describe function.

Resources

Sam P

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