How do you connect and ArcGIS map to a Microsoft Access Database? The database has data on monitoring wells (i.e. water levels, chemical concentrations...ect) and the ArcGIS Map has well locations. Can I run queries on the database while working inside an ArcGIS environment?

  • What's in your database and what's in your ArcGIS Map document? Please edit your question and provide more information – Midavalo May 11 '16 at 23:25
  • There shouldn't be anything special about it, browse to it in ArcCatalog or the Catalog tab, it should open showing tables which can be dragged into your map - they will only be visible in the datasources tab of your table of contents, not the layout view. Is there some reason why this isn't working? any error messages? can you not 'see' into the database with Catalog? if so, it's probably broken. – Michael Stimson May 12 '16 at 0:13
  • I typically just add Access this way (Add Data)... but my understanding is that it is not correct. Also, if you want to see queries or anything you need to connect properly using an ODBC connection, but it is a pain opening ArcCatalog and getting to the interface. Has this changed? – Mike May 12 '16 at 0:23

Open Catalog. Go to Customize>Toolbars>Customize and search "Add OLE DB Connection". Drag this tool to a toolbar. Click on the icon for the tool. Select Microsoft OLE DB Provider for ODBC Drivers and hit Next. Select "Use Connection String" and hit Build then select Machine source and double click MS Access Datasource then hit the Database button and browse to your database. Hit Ok and Ok again and then hit Test Connection... hopefully it works... every time I do this it takes a few tries. I have also seen a way to build the connection string manually, but I can't remember the specifics

  • Can you run queries on the database while working in the ArcGIS environment? – andrew2016 May 12 '16 at 15:13
  • I have never tried. I guess it might work although I think the query would be an object embedded in the mxd that still referenced the external database as opposed to an additional query in the Access file. In most instances where I have done this it was specifically to see queries that existed in the Access database... and any other queries were created on the Access side. A "Query" in arc might have a lot of brackets...but I have never used one for the same functionality as I use a query in Access. I'm sure there are many ways to approach this. – Mike May 12 '16 at 15:53

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