ArcGIS10: Spatial Indices

Handling large datasets in ArcGIS can be a truly painful process.  When you are up against a deadline, the seconds spent wasted waiting for ArcGIS to update its display or run a query can be excruciating.

That is until you discover spatial indices!  It is like a new world, where querying data is (almost) fun, and not an reason to go and make a cup of tea.  Plus it is incredibly simple.

To apply a spatial index, firstly find your troublesome dataset in Catalog.  Right-click and go to Properties.  Then the Indexes tab.  See Spatial Index in the bottom pane of this window and click Add.  This will take a few seconds but once in place it will significantly improve the speed of your redrawing and querying.

Having said all this, I’m not sure this will be new to many – but I found this very useful.  More information is available from ESRI themselves here.

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