A Personal Geodatabase is an ESRI-specified GIS database, in Microsoft Access (.mdb) format.

A personal geodatabase is a Microsoft Access database that can store, query, and manage both spatial and nonspatial data. Because they are stored in Access databases, personal geodatabases have a maximum size of 2 GB. Additionally, only one person at a time can edit data in a personal geodatabase. Personal geodatabases are made up of nine system tables plus user data.

Allowable Dataset types:

• Feature class

• Feature dataset

• Mosaic dataset

• Raster catalog

• Raster dataset

• Schematic dataset

• Table (nonspatial)

• Toolboxes

Allowable Feature Dataset types:

• Parcel fabrics

• Feature-linked annotation

• Geometric networks

• Network datasets

• Relationship classes

• Terrains

• Topologies

Personal geodatabases can also contain domains, use subtypes, and participate in checkout/check-in replication and one-way replicas.

The usage of personal geodatabases is now deprecated in lieu of the more efficient file geodatabase. File geodatabases have a 1 TB storage limit (vs 2 GB for personal geodatabases) and also support multi-user editing of feature classes.

For more information: http://help.arcgis.com/en/arcgisdesktop/10.0/help../#//003n0000007n000000

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