Error: The spatial index grid size is invalid

Error Message

When creating a new feature through either the CreateFeature and Store method or the use of an InsertCursor, the creation fails with the following error:

The spatial index grid size is invalid."


The FDO_E_INVALID_GRID_SIZE error is raised because the grid size of the feature class where the feature is being created is too small to handle the feature. This error only occurs with File or ArcSDE Geodatabases.

Solution or Workaround

Depending on how the error message is being raised, there are two different ways to handle the error.

  1. If this error is encountered while editing within ArcMap, recalculate or modify the grid size of the feature class to accommodate the new feature. The recalculation of the grid size must be done from the Feature Class properties dialog box within ArcCatalog. This requires the use of the Stop Editing function, save any edits, and close the Map Document containing the feature class. For steps on how to recalculate or modify the grid size of a feature class, see the following Web help documentation: Setting spatial indexes.
  2. If this error is being encountered programmatically through the ArcObjects API, notifying the user to manually modify the spatial index is not an ideal solution. Instead, this error can be prevented by placing the feature class into LoadOnly mode prior to inserting the feature. When the feature class is taken out of LoadOnly mode, the Geodatabase automatically recalculates an appropriate grid size. The following code sample demonstrates how to use LoadOnly mode with a feature class:

    'Place the feature class in loadonly mode. This steps needs to happen prior to calling IFeature.Store or IFeatureCuror.InsertCursor
    Dim pFCLoad As IFeatureClassLoad
    Set pFCLoad = pFeatureClass
    pFCLoad.LoadOnlyMode = True

    'Create feature buffer
    Dim pFeatBuffer As IFeatureBuffer
    Set pFeatBuffer = pFeatureClass.CreateFeatureBuffer
    Set pFeatBuffer.Shape = pGeometry

    'Create insert cursor and insert buffer
    Dim pCursor As IFeatureCursor
    Set pCursor = pFeatureClass.Insert(True)

    'Insert the feature and call flush
    pCursor.InsertFeature pFeatBuffer

    'Take the feature class out of loadonly mode, the Geodatabase will calculcate an appropriate grid size based on the features within the feature class
    pFCLoad.LoadOnlyMode = False