Thursday, April 23, 2009

Joining Tables in ArcMap - Why does this take so long?

I have to admit, I'm not the more patient person in the world. I have a fast computer and I still complain when things don't happen instantaneously on my machine. But one of the major things that irks to no end is waiting for ArcMap to join data.

I have a shapefile that has over 1.5 million records and I need to join it to a text file with just a couple hundred records. When I perform the join in ArcMap, I find myself mindlessly staring at my computer screen willing it to complete. 10 minutes later and I'm still staring at the same computer screen but I'm pleading with ArcMap to finish the join so I can get on with my work.

I know that if I reversed the order of the join, I could get my data faster, but the "big" file is the shapefile with all my geometry. So I am left to wait, hope, cry, and beg for ArcMap to finish this process.

But then there comes a point in time when I just can't wait any longer. It's at this point that I give up trying to create my layer files (using definition queries) and resorted to creating a file geodatabase with all the data segmented out in separate feature classes. While I was doing this in FME, ArcMap stalled on me. When will I ever learn?

I really do like ArcMap, but it frustrates me that simple joins and definition queries can take so long on large datasets.

1 comment:

  1. I sense your madness and understand your pain x.x