I am attempting to export selected features from a streets.sdc layer using ArcMap 10.1. After using the 'select by attribute' tool to select the features I want, I then right-click the data layer, choose Data --> Export data, and export the selected features as a new shapefile.

After successfully exporting these features I find that the new attribute table has been altered. For example, many values in the speed limit attribute column have reverted to zero. In addition, other values have been shifted around into different, incorrect attribute columns. For example, the name of a highway may be cut in half, with half of the name remaining in the 'Highway name' attribute column, and the other half migrating to the next attribute column to the right.

How do I prevent the attribute table from being corrupted when I create a new shapefile using selected features?

  • 2
    It was my understanding that the STREETS.sdc layer was locked to prevent any export (licensing constraint from the data provider). Shapefile isn't a particularly reliable format for data export, which probably doesn't help.
    – Vince
    Sep 9, 2015 at 21:12
  • I do not believe STREETS.sdc is locked to prevent export. I am able to export, with the geoprocessing results tab showing successful completion of the task, but the resultant attribute table is corrupted as described above.
    – bubbalouie
    Sep 9, 2015 at 21:17

3 Answers 3


There is an Esri FAQ: Why can't the streets.sdc layer be exported to a shapefile or feature class? which says:

The streets layer (streets.sdc) included with any ESRI StreetMap Premium product is a licensed dataset; therefore, this layer cannot be exported to a shapefile or feature class.

An Esri HowTo: Convert SDC Feature Classes using ArcToolbox, that is applicable to ArcGIS versions 9.1-9.3.1, suggests that the SDC format itself was (is?) able to be exported so it sounds like either that functionality was dropped at ArcGIS 10, or there is something in place to scramble output from streets.sdc specifically. Either way performing the export sounds like it is outside of the license agreement.

  • Ah I did not know that, thanks for the nfo
    – ed.hank
    Sep 9, 2015 at 21:22
  • This Esri guide seems to contradict that.
    – bubbalouie
    Sep 9, 2015 at 21:23
  • 2
    That's a generic description of SDC export from 9.x days, long before licensed datasets were added to the SDC model.
    – Vince
    Sep 9, 2015 at 21:27
  • Try creating an empty shapefile with the right attributes, add both to ArcMap, start editing on the shapefile then select a bunch from the sdc and copy/paste into the shapefile.... it might work. Sep 9, 2015 at 22:43

That is a strange one but I believe this happened to me when i was using 10.0 (not sure why though) A work around is to use the select by attributes to select the records you want, then run the tool Feature Class to Feature Class (conversion), you can find it by searching tools in the geoprocessing tab. Also I believe you can put an expression right into the tool, but leaving the records selected will only export the selected records. This should bring all your attributes in correctly

Let me know if that works, if not I have some other tricks

  • unfortunately this did not work.
    – bubbalouie
    Sep 10, 2015 at 13:47
  • Maybe try this - The Copy Features tool can also be used to convert a shapefile, coverage feature class, or geodatabase (file, personal, or ArcSDE) feature class to a shapefile or geodatabase (file, personal, or ArcSDE) feature class.
    – ed.hank
    Sep 10, 2015 at 14:18

There IS a solution to extracting .SDC layers from ESRI Streetmaps. It is outlined here. If you need a refresher on how to create a polygon shapefile from scratch, here is a good tutorial. The output attribute table from this method is not corrupted and very much usable.

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