I think this is a fairly easy question so apologies. Someone sent me a .gdb in Google Drive. When I download it to my computer, it is a file folder with all the .gdb contents in it. I can't figure out how to add it as a .gdb in ArcCatalog - I know it must be straightforward but I'd be very grateful if someone could explain it to me. Thanks in advance!
An Esri File Geodatabase consists of multiple individual files stored within a directory with the extension ".gdb"
If this is appearing in ArcCatalog as a folder, rather than a geodatabase, it is likely that the geodatabase is corrupt, possibly as a result of being shared via Google Drive.
Try asking the original sender to zip the entire *.gdb folder and send you the zip file, to avoid the corruption.
When using Drive for Desktop, Google Drive folders are automatically synced and a desktop.ini file is placed in every folder. File geodatabases are actually just a folder and therefore get the desktop.ini file. This corrupts the file geodatabase. I believe you can uncorrupt the file by copying the .gdb folder locally then deleting the desktop.ini file.
Our business uses Google Drive extensively, but we are hesitant to store our GIS files in GD for this reason.
the folder called xxxx.gdb is a file geodatabase. You should be able to view it in ArcCatalog, even if it is the wrong version for your ArcMap installed version, if the version of the geodatabase is newer than your installed version you wont be able to see inside it but it should still get a picture as a geodatabase and not as a folder.
Inside the .gdb folder should be a lot of files:
a00000001.gdbtable a00000001.gdbtablx a00000002.gdbtable a00000002.gdbtablx
and a single file just called gdb (no extension) which is an identifier to ESRI that this folder is a file geodatabase. If ArcCatalog is not seeing it properly it probably hasn't downloaded properly.
Note: Catalog can't see well inside Zip archives, they need to be unzipped to the file system first.
If you are having trouble navigating to the location please read this: http://help.arcgis.com/en/arcgisdesktop/10.0/help/index.html#//006m0000005t000000.htm ArcCatalog will (usually) only let you go to folder connections: pre-defined locations where it expects to find spatial data.