I have a set of shapefiles that I need to append into an existing blank database. The database I have contains blank copies of the shapefiles, only as feature classes in a feature dataset. Each feature class has the same geometry and schema as it's corresponding shapefile.

What I am trying to accomplish is to essentially load the data from my shapefiles into their corresponding feature class based on the feature class's name. My workflow thus far has been to manually load each feature using the loading wizard in catalog.

Is there a way to accomplish this with ModelBuilder?

  • 1
    Why arent you using Feature Class to Feature Class? Why do you need to start with an empty feature class?
    – BERA
    Nov 13, 2017 at 19:50
  • If you also seek an ArcPy solution then feel free to post another question that includes a code snippet that illustrates what you have tried and where you are stuck.
    – PolyGeo
    Nov 13, 2017 at 20:09

1 Answer 1


Using ModelBuilder you can iterate over your shapefiles, select the shapefile by the name value from the iterator. Then use the append tool, selecting the blank copy using the %name% value, using either TEST or NO TEST schema type depending if the fields match up.

  • Nice, thanks. Only issue I'm running into is that I can't figure out how to specify %name% in the append tool. I have my iterator linked to my append but cant use the %name% as my target dataset. I'm getting an error. Nov 13, 2017 at 20:13
  • 1
    connect your output from iterate to append, set that as input dataset, for output dataset, type your path with %name% at the end, that should append into the same named dataset
    – Maksim
    Nov 13, 2017 at 20:18
  • I'm getting an error that %name% is not supported. Here is the filepath I'm using W:\Citrix\34325Working.gdb\FIRM_Spatial_Layers\%name% Nov 13, 2017 at 21:08
  • put name after the .gdb
    – Maksim
    Nov 13, 2017 at 21:14

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