FAQ: What are the best practices to avoid broken data links in a map document when it is moved?
What are the best practices to avoid broken data links in a map document when it is moved?
Data links are stored as map layer properties in a map document and are a path to the source data. When a map document is opened, ArcMap locates the data using the stored paths. When the source data is no longer in the directory where the path is pointed, ArcMap indicates that the data link is broken and that layer must be repaired. A layer with a broken data link has a red exclamation point next to the layer name:
To repair broken data links, see the following document: Repairing broken data links
However, repairing individual data links can be tedious if there are many layers to fix in the map document. With a little preparation beforehand, broken data links can be prevented. The following are some ways to move the source data while preventing broken data links:
- Store relative paths to data in the map document
For more information on relative paths and how to store them in a map document, see the following document: Referencing data in the map
- Create a map package
Note: If there are any data referencing an enterprise geodatabase, ensure that the Include Enterprise geodatabase data instead of referencing the data option is checked when creating the map package.
- Use arcpy.mapping to fix data sources
- Esri Support: FAQ: Should relative paths to data be stored in map documents?
- Esri Support: How To: Prepare to move GIS data and map documents to a new server
- ArcGIS Desktop: Setting data sources