Editing in ArcGIS AllSource

Editing geographic data is the process of creating, modifying, or deleting features and related data on layers in a map. After saving your edits, each layer is connected to a data source that defines and stores the features; this is typically a geodatabase feature class, shapefile, or feature service.

Features can be 2D or 3D and represent real physical objects or data points in the natural world or in built environments. Developers can extend the ArcGIS AllSource editing experience using the ArcGIS Pro SDK. For more information, visit the ArcGIS Pro SDK website.

This topic summarizes what you can do with ArcGIS AllSource editing tools out of the box. For an overview of the tools on the ribbon Data tab, Edit tab, editing panes, context menus, and toolbars, see A quick tour of editing.

For steps to use a specific tool, browse the table of contents for editing or search the help using a keyword or phrase.

Editing workflows

Editing tools support diverse workflows ranging from general mapping applications to intelligence communities including defense, corporate security, and crime analysis. You can edit data from geodatabases, feature services, GeoPackages, data in SQLite databases, shapefiles, and data from collector apps on mobile devices.

The types of edits you can perform include the following workflows:

  • Create or modify 2D and 3D features.
  • Create or modify annotation features, font type, style, and size of text.
  • Edit feature attributes and related records and add or remove file attachments.
  • Create 3D features from scratch or import 3D models.
  • Extrude 2D features or symbolize them as 3D features.
  • Reposition and transform features including read-only datasets such as CAD drawings.
  • Reshape, replace, or edit feature geometry while preserving existing attributes.

To learn more about other editable data types, see Supported data types and items.

Automatic edit sessions

In ArcGIS AllSource, an edit session is automatically started when you modify existing data or create data. You can edit any data source that is granted view and edit privileges. Saving or discarding your edits automatically stops the edit session. Any subsequent edits you make resumes the edit session until you save or discard your edits.

By default, there are no buttons to start or stop an edit session. However, you can protect against unintentionally performing edits at the application level by using one or both of the following methods.

Enable and disable editing from the Edit tab

Disabling editing on the Edit tab disables editing tools and feature templates. By default, this setting is hidden.

To show this button, see Enable and disable editing.

Turn off editing by layer

Turning off editing by layer allows you to specify which layer can be edited. These settings apply to the active map or scene and do not change permissions granted at the data source.

To learn more, see Specify which layers can be edited.

Maps and scenes

You can view and edit 2D and 3D data in maps or scenes or both at the same time. You can switch between a map and a scene as you work, and link them to display synchronously at the same center and scale of the extents as you pan and zoom in the active view.

  • Maps—Display data in a 2D plan view. To learn more, see Maps.
  • Scenes—Tilt a map and display the data in 3D space. To learn more, see Scenes.

You can configure a scene as a local or global view depending on the type of display or analysis the work requires. Local scenes with a projected coordinate system are the best choice when you need to minimize distortion for distance, direction, scale, or area measurements.

To learn more, see Configure a scene for 3D editing.

Catalog pane

Projects contain connections to data, layouts, toolboxes, and other resources necessary to complete a project. You can create projects with specific data and share them online, or save them as templates for a particular editing scenario and share them within your organization.

You view and manage project resources in the Catalog pane Catalog Pane. You can add and remove connections to local and online data, and create feature classes, maps, scenes, and other project items. The pane includes tabs for accessing portal content and creating a list of favorites.

To learn more, see Use the Catalog pane.

2D and 3D features

Feature templates can create 2D or 3D features depending on the layers they reference. The steps to create 2D or 3D features are basically the same except you specify z-values for 3D features. Three-dimensional features store z-values with their geometry.

Two-dimensional features do not store z-values, but they can derive them from an attribute field in a table or from an elevation surface in a 3D scene. In some cases, it may be simpler to add elevation values to existing 2D features or extrude them using an attribute field.

To learn more, see Introduction to 2D and 3D features.

Versioned data

When you edit data that is registered as versioned, you are modifying an isolated version of the same data other users may be editing. Your edits are tracked in system tables and reconciled and posted when you save your changes.

Optional settings allow you to define how conflicts are defined and reconciled when you save your edits. You can show the Conflict Manager pane and interactively review conflicts or hide it and reconcile conflicts automatically.

To learn more, see Versioning options.