Esri File Geodatabase

Long name Esri File Geodatabase
Short name FGDB
File extension(s) .gdb

The Esri File Geodatabase is a collection of data layers stored in a file system. A File Geodatabase is a directory containing a collection of files.

A File Geodatabase is represented in GDB as a single GDB file with one vector segment for each feature class in the File Geodatabase. Feature classes can be organized into feature data sets in a File Geodatabase. GDB does not have this hierarchal model. Therefore, the GDB vector segment name will show this hierarchy as a path (for example, Landbase\Blocks).

GDB supports feature classes containing points, lines, and polygons. Each vector segment will have the associated projection of the File Geodatabase feature class. Most Esri projections are supported.

GDB supports most of the File Geodatabase attribute types. Blob fields and XML document fields are not supported. Geometry fields become shape vertices.

Opening an Esri File Geodatabase

To open a File Geodatabase in CATALYST Professional, specify the File Geodatabase directory name. You can either use the Choose Directory button in the File Selector or specify the directory name directly in EASI (for example, FILI="C:\data\Query.gdb"). You can also open the data set by picking one of the .gdbtable, .gdbtablx, or .gdbindexes files in the directory.

Writing an Esri File Geodatabase

To write to a new Esri File Geodatabase, enter a name ending in .gdb in the File Selector. This name becomes the name of the directory for the File Geodatabase. A File Geodatabase cannot be updated.

GDB does not have a feature data set concept. Instead, each GDB vector layer is exported as a standalone feature class. Only vector layers can be exported to a File Geodatabase.


The GDB implementation uses the Esri File Geodatabase API. For more information, visit:

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