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This seems silly to me, but I haven't hit this before. I have multiple (30+) point tables, 100 data points each, and want to start designing symbology and doing things like point distance. However, my data source is not finalized. (I have been asked to start now, but will receive updated coordinates in a week). Is there a table format (access table, gdb, etc) where I can calculate pt distance (multiple times per table), design a multi-part symbology based on attribute, throught the table (not making it a shp), and when the data is finalized, have the table auto-update? (and then, in theory, create a shp from that 'final' data that retains symbology, etc)?

This must be possible- but i know i can't edit/replace a dbf that's part of a shp (without starting over), and it seems that edits can only be made in either ArcGIS OR in Access, but not both.

thanks for ideas,

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

Just to make sure I get this right, let me restate what I think it is you want: You want to create the symbology for a dataset that isn't finalized yet so that when you get the final version you can just load it up and have it symbolized already without adjusting anything... is that correct?

If so, you can simply symbolize how you want your data to look in ArcMap, then right click your feature/shapefile in the table of contents and choose 'Save As Layer File'. The layer file holds all symbolization and is merely a representation of your data in a shapefile or featureclass. The data itself doesn't have any symbolization. When you get a new version of the dataset, load up the layer file you saved, and change the data source to your new dataset.

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