Is there any backup strategy for GIS data?

Say .mxd, shape files, data base connection files, feature layers, geo-database etc.

According to ideal methodology:

1.On external hard drive : best to take backup of all folders and sub folders.

2.Working on ArcGIS JSAPI so taking daily backup on CVS

Similar fashion what would be the recommended backup strategy for GIS Data?

We are using ESRI and open source platform (Desktop and server based + spatial database)

Any help would be great!!

  • Depends if you data is stored in files/folders or database? – Mapperz Jul 25 '13 at 13:40
  • @Mapperz my data is in files +folders+data base +few DB connection strings + few .py files – Sunil Jul 25 '13 at 13:41
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    We have 2 of everything (dev,lab,production) production is backed-up daily - windows for file/folder with the 'previous versions' enable saves a of time. – Mapperz Jul 25 '13 at 13:41
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    for our mac/windows environment Restrospect retrospect.com/en/products/win retrospect.com/en/products/mac has good simple backup software that anyone can use. (UK has to store emails up to 7 years and this also is archived on DAT tape/hot swappable hard-drives) – Mapperz Jul 25 '13 at 13:46
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    This is on-topic theregister.co.uk/2013/07/25/… – Mapperz Jul 25 '13 at 14:09

Is there any backup strategy for GIS data?

No, the way it should be is a project has an assigned number for record keeping - the server has this Job_Number and all files emails,quotes,GIS_raw_data, processed data and finally the delivered data/map/pdf/website This ensures that the ENTIRE project can be easily retrieved.

Backup vs Archive Backups should be done regularly (weekly min for no production work and every day for production). It depends on your environment (how big/small) how this implemented.

Archive are when jobs are finished and invoiced (payment is received) This is then moved to the archive folder where it is backed-up on to external hard-drive and DAT tape - one of these media is then removed from the site (in cases of fire/theft).

Advantages - Windows has a very good 'previous versions' this needs to be set up on the server. It will give users the instant result (time saver) when they click 'previous versions'

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Dis-advantages Cost - it takes money to have a very good back-up and archive process - Staff need to be trained and the process must be en-forced heavy to work effectively and as it should. (i.e. no leaving files on a local drive and the local drive fails)
Time is the other factor - time to plan/implement/train - also backup of terabytes of data can be time consuming - backups can run into each other if not.

  • You are simply great Mapperz !! Thanks for the prompt response..I will discuss this with our IT admin and let you know any questions.. thanks once again : ) – Sunil Jul 25 '13 at 14:16
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    This is a summary of almost 20 years experience in IT/GIS – Mapperz Jul 25 '13 at 14:19

For the External hard drive I do not recommend the WD Elements prodocts It is a 2 TB with USB 2.0 ! Had one crashed and fried. Have had it for a year.

Second - best to have at least one external hard drive in case if one fried, or stolen or if your office/building burns down, then you have plan B that you have a second external hard drive at home for protection.

That is my backup strategy.

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    How do you sync your hard drive at work with the one at home? That might not be a bad idea if it works, although I'd imagine most corporate environments have policies against employees having personal copies of corporate data at home. – blah238 Jul 25 '13 at 16:05
  • HA HA I am not like Edward Snowden who sneak and steal those secrets senstive information from personal computers !. It is because my agency I worked for wanted me to protect datasets so they gave me an extra external hard drive. I like the one with the Firewire. There is no sync here and just copy them to external hard drive and manage them. I would set aside some of the imagery on one external hard drive and keep important files on another external hard drive. – PROBERT Jul 25 '13 at 19:34
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    See if that works out for you superuser.com/questions/141268/sync-two-external-harddrives – PROBERT Jul 25 '13 at 19:50

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