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I am working on a project where I need to map out several assets that are found around the city. The Arts Department utilizes a software called Past Perfect to catalogue and track any art assets. My part of the project involves mapping out where these items are located.

Is anyone familiar with this program or know if it can be integrated with ArcGIS 10?

I am trying to avoid redundant data, as I know that I could simply create a new database for the items being mapped; however, if there is a way to directly pull date from the database into ArcGIS Desktop, that would save a lot of time and streamline the entire process.

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From here museumsoftware.com/conversions.html it looks like you can export to ASCII Text format, which you'll bring into ArcGIS as a table you should be able to convert to Shapefile or File Geodatabase using the X,Y coordinates I'm guessing the export will create... –  mapBaker May 14 '14 at 18:40

3 Answers 3

I can't tell from their website what database system they are using to store and manage the data, but you might also check (might have to check with tech support if y'all have support active on it) and see if there is an ODBC driver for their database (or if they're using a common database format that you should already have a pre-loaded ODBC driver for). If there is, then you could also just access the data directly by adding a OLD DB connection. You have to go into ArcCatalog's customize toolbars menu and find "Add OLD DB" connection and add it to a toolbar (I don't think it's there by default any more at 10.0, I know they removed it at 10.1). Anyway, if you do that you should be able to use that to add an ODBC connection directly into the database and allow you to work with it within ArcGIS desktop as another set of stand alone tables (though you likely won't be able to edit that table). You can get some more info about that option here http://help.arcgis.com/en/arcgisdesktop/10.0/help/index.html#/Adding_OLE_DB_connections/006m0000006p000000/ Again, I don't know your software in particular, but I've used this method to connect to other external databases from within ArcGIS desktop quite successfully on multiple occasions.

Another option would be to look into using a query layer in ArcGIS Desktop (more info available at http://help.arcgis.com/en/arcgisdesktop/10.0/help/index.html#//00s50000000n000000) if that is even an option with your software/database you are trying to access. I've not used this much personally, so I don't know enough to recommend for or against it.

What it comes down to really though is, you either have to do duplicate in-put. You can look into exporting the data (try using it's report builder and create your own report that includes the data you need as comma separated data that you can just open up as a CSV). Or you can see if their database/software allows external access to the data and use one of the above listed methods to get access to that data directly.

I hope that helps and at least gives you some starting points.

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Thank you so much for your help!! These are some really great ideas, and I will definitely explore them and post some results if anything should come about.I would upvote you, but I don't have that power yet :( THANK YOU! –  user26516 May 17 '14 at 2:05

If you can import the data into Microsoft excel and do the formatting there you can follow this guide Working with excel and ArcGISto format the columns appropriately

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Perfect! We will definitely give that a shot, and see how it goes! Thanks! –  user26516 May 17 '14 at 2:07

From the documentation for Past Perfect on page 543 it looks like dBase (*.dbf) is an option for exporting (art) objects.

I would try that first and see whether there are X,Y coordinates or addresses exported with each.

If there is, then you should be able to Display XY Data or Geocode respectively to see them in ArcMap.

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Thank you! We currently don't have access to the Past Perfect because it is another department that uses it, but I will see if I can get them test this out! Much appreciated! –  user26516 May 17 '14 at 2:06

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