I have 207 geodatabases, each with 3 feature classes, and multiple shapefiles (point, line, and polygon) within each feature class. The data is from The National Map (USGS). In the screenshot, you can see three of the geodatabases - Cornwall, Danby, and Dover Plains - with their feature classes. My goal is to merge (or append) these 207 geodatabases into one geodatabase that maintains the same feature classes (most important: foundation, gaz vector, and hydrography). I am not well-versed in Model Builder or Arcpy. A cumbersome method would be to append each feature class individually within each geodatabase with the master geodatabase as the target.

How can I make this process more efficient?

screenshot of ArcCatalog

  • 1
    I think you mean you have three feature datasets and multiple feature classes. It is not possible to place a shapefile within a file geodatabase (they are different formats).
    – Vince
    Feb 1, 2017 at 22:30

3 Answers 3


To do this in ModelBuilder (personally I would use ArcPy instead) I would:

  1. create a model that performs the Merge/Append of 207 feature classes in one feature dataset from 207 file geodatabases into one feature class in one feature dataset of your new master file geodatabase.
  2. Once you have that working use an iterator to do the same thing for all your feature classes and feature datasets.

If you get stuck on either phase then ask a new question which describes precisely what you have tried and where you are stuck.

  • Kind of late to the party but would it be possible for you to show how this would be done? Do you have to select each gdb separately in the model builder? Nov 24 at 15:37
  • @RodrigoSuárezCastaño Please ask a new question which describes precisely what you have tried and where you are stuck.
    – PolyGeo
    Nov 24 at 20:01

You could use a product called FME from Safe Software to read a whole directory of FGDBs and combine them into one... without any complicated code or hardcoded FGDB names.


Please see the following link Append Multiple Tool

  • 3
    Whilst this may theoretically answer the question, it would be preferable to include the essential parts of the answer here, and provide the link for reference.
    – ArMoraer
    Aug 20, 2018 at 7:33

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