I have a relatively large result file from my network analysis in ArcGIS 10.5. Data represents 100 closest neighbors for ~1.5 mio locations. The dataset is stored in a file geodatabase and it contains 'no geography' since I specified NO_LINES option in MakeODCostMatrixLayer_na tool so I treat it as a table.

I would like to move this data out of GIS for further processing in Stata (and or R). Since Stata is not GIS.. and I also wanted to avoid shapefile for data of this size I thought first about using txt or csv file as an intermediate way.

Learning from previous solutions, I tried three solutions:

  1. Exporting via GUI in ArcCatalog
  2. Exporting via (64-bit) Python script with 'Export Feature Attribute to ASCII' (Spatial Statistics toolbox)
  3. Exporting via Python script with 'Table To Table' (Conversion toolbox)
  4. Exporting via Python script with 'Copy rows' (Data Management toolbox)
  5. Exporting via Python script with a cursor loop (as suggested by Caleb1987 here)

Oddly enough, all these solutions give me a resulting file with 30 mio observations (exactly the same number) instead of 150 mio.

What can be causing a problem like that? Are there any better solutions for exporting files of this size?

Note: all scripts were tested with smaller datasets and everything worked smoothly so I am pretty confident there are no mistakes there.

Update: I managed to test one more solution via ogr2ogr. Using command line to connect to database and export to CSV:

ogr2ogr -f "CSV" "path\output.csv" "path\database.gdb" "feature_class"

This time I get to export 47mio records and the tool fails with many error messages similar to:

ERROR 1: Error occurred in filegdbtable.cpp at line 1284
  • Are you getting the first fifth of the records as your results?
    – danak
    Jun 27, 2017 at 15:17
  • @danak Yes these seem to be the 'top 20%' records from the result file
    – radek
    Jun 27, 2017 at 15:23
  • 2
    If you do Select All, does the selection count =record count? I have seen many database tools fail to search or select all the records when the count is extremely high. You may have to break it up into a few batches.
    – danak
    Jun 27, 2017 at 15:24
  • How many rows are there in total? I belive there is a limit for the output rows 6553. try this: arcgis.com/home/item.html?id=f3d91b8f852042e289e09a7ec8342431
    – NULL.Dude
    Jun 27, 2017 at 15:30
  • @danak When in table view in ArcCatalog I get correct number of features. ogrinfo returns the same value.
    – radek
    Jun 27, 2017 at 15:38

3 Answers 3


According to this thread the problem might be prevented by using the arcgis excel and csv toolbox . It can convert your table to csv, avoiding external max rows limitations.


According to ArcGIS Desktop's File geodatabase size and name limits documentation you should not be getting close to its row number limitation:

Number of rows in a feature class or table: 2,147,483,647

  • Thanks @PolyGeo. Indeed it doesn't look like the 150 mio should be a limit. I think this is somehow confirmed by the fact that scripts creating this large file run without errors.. Similarly ogrinfo returns expected number of features. I understand that the issue is really in the export itself..
    – radek
    Jul 6, 2017 at 7:30

You can try using Pandas which comes with ArcMap 10.5 installation:

import arcpy
import pandas as pd

fc = r'C:\database.gdb\feature_class'

fields = [f.name for f in arcpy.ListFields(fc)]

df = pd.DataFrame.from_records(data=arcpy.da.SearchCursor(fc,fields), columns=fields)

df.to_csv(path_or_buf=r'C:\folder\outfile.csv', sep=',')
  • Thanks @BERA. Have you managed to test this solution with such large dataset? I currently do not have access to the datasets that I struggled with when I asked this question so am not able to comment more.
    – radek
    Feb 12, 2018 at 3:56
  • No i have not. Should work if you have enough RAM to load all data into a pandas dataframe.
    – BERA
    Feb 12, 2018 at 6:12

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.