I want to be able to run multiple scenarios in a typical ArcMap workflow. This will include making edits to feature classes, such as removing features, adding new features, or changing feature values in the attribute table.

Per scenario, I want to track these changes so that I can generate a report of what changes were made (what was added, removed, changed), as well as store those changes as a scenario (xml file?) that can be loaded in the future. This is where I think that definition queries can be used to some extent...

Is there a general setup for this type of workflow? The application that we have written in Python tests a single scenario and does not allow edits to the database. To test more than one scenario, a copy of the file geodatabase must be made before proceeding with further changes and re-testing the scenario outputs.


This is how I imagine the scenarios will be represented...

Scenerio: Base

The user launches ArcMap and adds a feature from a prescribed file geodatabase.

|FID|NAME |TYPE      |
|  0|Metro|Commercial|

Here we have a feature with 1 object as the base scenario.

Scenerio: A

The user starts an editing session and adds an object.

|FID|NAME    |TYPE      |
|  0|Metro   |Commercial|
|  1|NoFrills|Commercial|

Scenario: A has two objects. The delta change between the Base Scenario and A is one object.

What I would like to be able to do is keep track of what was added, removed or changed in a Scenario so that I can "load" a scenario and assess the delta change between them.

Also, because I know what is contained in the Base Scenario, I can store the FID values that will form the basis of my definition query. Scenario A will have a different set of FID values for its definition query.

  • Have you considered ArcGIS 10.1 Editor Tracking? resources.arcgis.com/en/help/main/10.1/index.html#//… I'm not sure that this is what you want, but to provide more assistance I would need a better understanding of your exact requirement - perhaps re-phrase or expand your question ...
    – PolyGeo
    Jul 24, 2012 at 0:55

1 Answer 1


It sounds like the Attribute Assistant add-in for ArcMap is built to be configured for situations such as yours. Once you install it, you can set up field calculating rules in the Dynmaic Value Table that will be run whenever you make an edit. There are many options built-in for dynamic field calculation. For example, using the "TIMESTAMP" option, you can have it populate a field with the current timestamp automatically whenever a feature is edited.

If none of the built-in options suit you, you can also write your own expressions that will be run each time an edit is made to a particular feature class - this functionality will likely be flexible enough to accommodate your scenario workflow. See the overview pdf for more details.

  • This is a great starting point for scenario testing. Jul 27, 2012 at 14:42

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