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I am working with data in an ArcGIS 10.1 geodatabase. I wanted to complete the simple task of taking a ten-digit ID field that is currently in String/Text format and create an identical field in Long/Numeric format.
However, Esri's resource pages on tables (http://resources.arcgis.com/en/help/main/10.1/index.html#/Common_tables_and_attributes_tasks/005s00000005000000/) do not discuss how to achieve this. Also, the following GIS/SE thread does not help me either: Is there a way to convert multiple columns at once from string to text, or to other data formats? and the post mentioned in the comment there refers only to QGIS.
In the meantime, I created a new table with the extra field, joined it to the original shapefile and will reimport this shapefile into the gdb, adjusting the new field format as needed.
Is there an easier way to complete this task?