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What approach should be used to have the ability to store and observe changes of polygons?

For example if you have an area where many parcels of land have changed owners and dimensions (larger/smaller from acquisitions of nearby parcels or subdivisions) through the decades and you want to check the history of a particular polygon?

I was thinking about using "feature compare": http://resources.arcgis.com/en/help/main/10.2/index.html#//001700000004000000

But I am not sure how it works and if it's the ideal tool for this purpose.

Also I don't know how to store these past changes that the parcels would have in order to view how it was 15 years ago for example.

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If you have access to an Enterprise geodatabase, this is the use case for Geodatabase archiving.

Quoting http://desktop.arcgis.com/en/arcmap/latest/manage-data/geodatabases/archiving-scenarios.htm:

A similar example is helpful in parcel management. As edits are made to parcels over time, they can be kept in the archive class. If you want to view how the parcels looked at a certain moment—for taxation purposes, for example—you could use the geodatabase history viewer to switch to the appropriate date and time. If instead you wanted to see how a certain parcel has changed over time, you could add the parcel archive class to the map and select the appropriate parcel by its ID number. This would show every representation of the selected parcel through time.

  • Yes, I read the page you linked in the comment. I would like more info on how to do this though. The set of the database and how the actual search and presentation of a polygon would take place – user148647 Sep 2 at 9:20
  • Well, the study is up to you, I can only suggest which is for me the best technology you have to achieve your goal and provide useful resources. Other than all the docs pages you can read in the same links I already provided (which will tell you a lot on the topic and how to answer your questions), you can have an idea of what an Enterprise GDB is and what is archiving by looking at this video (link is at Archive part, but you can watch the whole video to understand it better). – umbe1987 Sep 2 at 9:31

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