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The ArcGIS ModelBuilder is nice to work for when dealing with single input/outfiles. When I want to use the List option (As to, for example, Clip several layers using the same clip feature layer), I always end up having to fill in the file names manually, as copy paste is very problematic (the ArcGIS help suggests using excel, but the copy-paste of every single path is the problem, not making the names).

Does anybody know of a way to overcome this (I wish there was a way to load a list, but either I didn't find it or it doesn't exist) ???

(oh, and I almost forgot: I'm using 9.3.1)

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2 Answers 2

up vote 3 down vote accepted

Have you tried listing your datasets? http://webhelp.esri.com/arcgisdesktop/9.3/index.cfm?TopicName=Iteration_using_Lists

TIP: A good tip with ArcGIS ModelBuilder is you can drag and drop multiple datasets from ArcCatalog or from the Table of Contents [TOC] in ArcMap.

Drag and drop a dataset from the ArcCatalog tree or a layer from the ArcMap table of content http://webhelp.esri.com/arcgisdesktop/9.3/index.cfm?TopicName=Listing_data

Lists all datasets from the selected workspace. Specifying search conditions (wildcard) and a feature type limits the results. The workspace must be specified before using any of the List methods


also useful tips http://webhelp.esri.com/arcgisdesktop/9.3/index.cfm?TopicName=Using_the_batch_grid_control

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Thanks. First resolution is to stop using the modelbuilder and go to python-only as soon as possible. Secondly, your first and last links have the answer - lists are possible for the input, not the output (and the best way to load a list is from a CSV file). –  jonatr Aug 26 '10 at 6:27
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In ModelBuilder, this class of problem can often be solved with a Python controlled loop. See slide 35 or so in the following Powerpoint presentation "Python and ModelBuilder": http://users.rowan.edu/~reiser/modelbuilder/python_second_day.ppt

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Yeah, sorry, I meant ModelBuilder (it's called modeler in Erdas). As you point me to Python, I gather there's no ModelBuilder native solution, correct me if I'm wrong... As for the presentation (slide 35) I have two questions: 1. Where did "counties" come from? county is the field name of the input layer, but where did counties (in: for county in counties) come from? 2. I still can't grasp how I do more complex loops, but I probably should read the presentation thoroughly (such as looping of two variables). Thanks –  jonatr Aug 25 '10 at 16:13
I'll need to double check this when I have more time, so don't take this response as gospel... Simple copy and paste is part of the ModelBuilder list interface, but it sounds like you need to paste something a bit more complex (like a range of differing source paths). In that PowerPoint, each county name will need to be offered as a row in an ArcGIS data format (shp, table, or whatever). You'd need to direct the SQL query to examine the object. Additional info for that scripting exercise, including sample data, can be found at the author's website: users.rowan.edu/~reiser/modelbuilder –  glennon Aug 25 '10 at 16:52
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