A librarian has helped me create some maps, and I need to open them. He is off work at the moment and I am in a rush for this. I have downloaded ArcGIS and he says I can open this with ArcMap. He has given me a folder that is .gdb and inside it contains many files:


I cannot open any of them with ArcMap.

  • 1
    You should look at the folder that contains this folder. Ugh. Let's say the folder you were given is called states and put it in a c:\data folder. In ArcMap, click the Add Data button and browse to (set up a folder connection) to c:\data. You should then see a file geodatabase listed and called states. Expand it and you should see a set of feature classes and/or datasets. – mkennedy Jun 22 '13 at 7:19
  • The ugh is not for you, but for me trying to write something sensible at oh-dark-thirty. – mkennedy Jun 22 '13 at 7:27

Assuming that you are able to start ArcMap, you should be able to add data stored within your file geodatabase (a folder with .gdb at the end) by using either Catalog window or the Add data button in the ArcMap application.



Don't browse to the file geodatabase within Windows Explorer since all the data is stored in binary format and you will not able to read it.

  • After I click add data and select the .gdb file, nothing shows up. Basically I don't see a set of "feature classes and/or datasets". It's blank. – Jonathan Jun 22 '13 at 8:45
  • If you are in the Add data dialog box, double-click the file geodatabase to get into it and see the list of feature classes. If you are not able to see the file geodatabase contents, it might be corrupted. What version of software do you have? One cannot open geodatabases of 10.x version if you are using 9.2 or 9.3. – Alex Tereshenkov Jun 22 '13 at 8:53
  • I moved the .gdb folder into the arcGIS directory and it seemed to work just fine. Thanks so much guys! – Jonathan Jun 22 '13 at 9:14
  • No problem, great it works. There is no relation between the geodatabase location and its ability to be open though :) anyways, consider reading through some introductory parts of the Help system to get basic understanding of the ArcGIS terms, it will be much easier for you to work and to find right answers to your questions. Also, don't forget to accept the answer. – Alex Tereshenkov Jun 22 '13 at 9:30

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