My overall goal:

My coworkers have an excel table which they update/use frequently. The table is not in a format that arcmap can decipher. Therefore, I've created a locked sheet (in the format I need) within the excel table, which points to the data my coworkers use. Periodically throughout the year I need to create a map with features that reflect the changes made in said excel table. My thinking is to store my own table in a geodatabase along with my feature class. I want to be able to easily update my table via a linked excel sheet within said gdb. So ultimately for every new map, I would like to just do a quick query in Access to update my table instead of manually doing it every time.

What I've done so far:

I know arcmap does not recognize the linked table alone, so I must add the linked data to a table, hence this next step: I created a personal geodatabase (.mdb) in arcmap and created a new table within the gdb which includes all the fields I need. When I open my gdb in Access 2013, I add my linked excel sheet. (I want to keep the linked table so it automatically updates when the excel table is updated).

After linking my excel sheet, I want to the append the values of the linked excel sheet to the table I created in my gdb.

I've tried using the Append Query, but nothing happens. The linked excel sheet values do not append to the table I created in my gdb. I also don't see an error messages.

Is there another way to do this? Am I doing something wrong?

  • 1
    (1/2)Hey - just spit balling here - but my initial reaction would be to use a Query Layer and have it reference the excel table. However, you will not be able to edit the excel table in ArcMap. My next reaction would be to create a data transfer process wherein the data is copied to the GDB and you do your revisions as needed then export - this will cause problems in workflow though. My next thought is an SDE with GlobalID's.
    – MDHald
    Commented Jan 13, 2016 at 18:11
  • 1
    (2/2) it would look something like this. Flat File>MS SQL>Query Layer>SDE
    – MDHald
    Commented Jan 13, 2016 at 18:11
  • I will give that a try! Although somehow I got everything to append to my table. I wonder if my queries actually worked and they were just slow, because my values appended multiple times. I'm still going to go through everything and make sure I get a fool proof method. Thank you for your help!
    – Katie B.
    Commented Jan 13, 2016 at 18:26

1 Answer 1


My append query worked! I had to close and reopen my table in Access to see the changes. (Obviously I'm still learning MS Access) So this one's for the beginners!

Here's the query steps:

  1. Create Tab > Query Design
  2. Show Table Window > Select Linked Table
  3. (As long as the fields in the linked table and the gdb are identical) Double-Click the Asterisk* to add all the fields to the "Select Table." If the fields aren't identical, then you will have to manually add all the fields to the "Select Table."
  4. Create Tab > Query Design > Append
  5. Append Window > Append To Table Name: > Select gdb table > OK > Run
    (You might need to manually enter the fields if they're not identical)
  6. Values should now be appended to gdb table

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