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Spatial Data Diagnosis: Coordinating Common Map Extents and Boundaries

Blog series on reviewing spatial data and identifying broken files and issues, including coordinating common ArcGIS map extents and boundaries.

On today’s wild ride on the #MarcoMonday express, let’s give a shout out to boxes. Okay, maybe not the cardboard kind. Boxes – or rather, more so boundaries – of the geographic kind are our next stop on this quest.

What are the extents of the most commonly used datasets?

To answer this question, we can use either Integrated Marco Commander or Integrated Marco Mystic. Either way, the same tools will be employed. The interface, of course, is your choice.

Coordinate Accordingly

To find the extent of datasets and spatial data, it is best to run the marco coordinate tool. That seems too obvious, I know. However, I pinky promise I am not pulling your leg.

View of coordinate tool from Integrated Marco Commander application in Windows Command Prompt.

As with any use of the effervescent Integrated Marco Studio inventory capabilities, the marco container tool must be run first and foremost. Followed by this, the marco coordinate tool may be run to pull those values for the following types of data:

  • Data Frames

  • Bookmarks

  • Datasets

  • All of the Above

Once the coordinates are gathered, they are stored in the Marco Database, setting up home in the respective database tables for each type of data with the following fields:

  • X_MIN

  • X_MAX

  • Y_MIN

  • Y_MAX

These values represent the extents of each dataset, data frame, or bookmark. They show the ends of the Earth…or at least, how that particular file sees it. Stored as WGS1984 format, these values may then be pulled into ArcMap, properly reprojected if need be, and visualized to create neat little (or large) bounding boxes representing the areas and files in question.

Don’t believe us? See for yourself.

Blog series on reviewing spatial data and identifying broken files and issues, including coordinating common ArcGIS map extents and boundaries.

This allows you to visualize the locations of your data for whatever reason you see fit. This could be for reporting purposes, showcasing the extent of spatial data to highlight the boundaries of regions a project in which a project may currently be taking place. This could be for QA/QC purposes, double-checking that the files you do have in a specific location actually match the region intended. This could also be for genuine curiosity. Want to figure out which datasets focus most in Texas versus California? Hot doggie, this is a good way to find out!

The intention of utilizing this particular feature of Integrated Marco Studio is entirely up to you. What are other purposes you could envision your team needing to visualize data boundaries that were not listed above?


Explore the Series

When it comes to reviewing your Geographic Information System (GIS) data and inventories, there are questions you should have at the ready. Discover common questions we ask of our spatial data to get the most out of these resources - and better yet, how we actually achieve answers. Explore the cheat sheet here and dive in to each post in the series below.


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