My recent assignment is to model a multi-user geodatabase for the whole world using the ESRI platform. This geodatabase contains administrative layers and topographic layers. The schema is to be designed in such a way that users can update different countries simultaneously.

My first problem is that every country has different administrative structures. For example, Country A has 2 administrative levels, Country B has 3 administrative levels and Country C has again 2 administrative levels.

Now when I merge each set of admin levels into layers (i.e. all level 1 areas in one layer, level 2 in a second layer and level 3 in a third layer) and establish a topology there is a gap between Country C and Countries A and B in admin level 3 because that level is not available in Countries A and B. The goal is for the topology to not have a gap.

Am I organizing this data in the wrong way?


You should start here. geodatabase data models

There are some very efficient models for government administration boundaries here.
Basemap models

Many disciplines have models linked here.
Data Models

And a national template here.
GIS for the Nation

This is world level.


political boundaries

Will these work?

Political boundaries global

  • Thanks for reply, I have already gone through them unfortunately every thing explains or available in data model is related to one country only. There is no example/datamodel available for world level. – iRfAn Jan 26 '11 at 15:56

There is a significant amount of discussion on this in the OpenStreetMap Community. You might want to search the tagging and users list.

Here is a link to that admin_level tag used to classify administrative boundaries: http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Key:admin_level#admin_level


Perhaps you could use a organized fashion and create the missing polygons for each country?

That way you will known that a specific level is not used by administration.



Country A and Country B

They'll both have the Country geometry. But country B does not have macro-regions or micro-regions. just create a big polygon (same as the up-level) and mark it as not applicable.

If you were customizing ArcGIS that would be "easier" to accomplish with class extensions and a little modelling, as you could create a metamodel and tell the extension how to validate each country, based on a separate "structure" table.

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