Geographic Information Systems Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for cartographers, geographers and GIS professionals. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I want to add datasets to ArcMap and place them in a particular group layer by simply clicking on hotlinked polygons in a shape file. The same process is easy in MapInfo and I want to implement the same for ArcGIS 10.

I found the following post that describes the process in 9.3.1

On properties-->html popup you can load url and any file will open in an external program but I want it to add to the current workspace.

A solution similar to mapinfo--layer control--hotlinks will be ideal but a python based solution will be acceptable as well if it can be added to the relevant vector layers within an mxd.


share|improve this question
I couldn't agree more! I've been looking for a simple solutin for ages! The Hotlink button (lightning bolt) allows you to open images or URLs but not sure if it will bring in GIS data into the TOC yet. Anyone else know of a simple solution? – user12523 Nov 6 '12 at 9:20

In the help section for the "Hyperlink Script" dialog in ArcGIS 10.0, there is a paragraph describing how to pass the current IFeature and IFeatureLayer to an ArcObjects library (presumably written in .NET). If you are able to pass an IFeature, then presumably you would be able to access the attributes associated with that feature, such as links to datasets. The trick then would be how to access the current map. You should be able to interrogate the AppRot to get a reference to the current document. That would be the direction I would proceed in.

share|improve this answer
thanks but this seems more complicated that it should be. MapInfo hotlinks do it perfectly and takes a few mins only to get working if the root file name is available in the table. Why isn't similar functionality built in to ArcGIS 10. – GeorgeC Sep 30 '11 at 9:08

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.