Use the Data Interoperability Extension to preview a dataset with ArcCatalog
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In this example you will see how to use the Catalog tree to preview and browse data in non-ESRI formats enabled by the Data Interoperability extension.
When viewing a dataset for the first time, the Data
Interoperability extension will index the dataset to
This example shows a MapInfo (TAB) files, but many other formats can be viewed in the same way.
Unlike ESRI formats, many formats allow multiple geometries per dataset. When you first load a dataset, all possible geometries are shown. Once a dataset has been cached, the Data Interoperability extension can determine which feature classes are populated.After a dataset has been indexed you can refresh the parent folder to prune empty feature classes. To do so, click the parent folder (in this case, C:\arcgis\ArcTutor\Data_Interoperability\Tutorial) and press F5 or right-click and click Refresh. If the layers for the MapInfo (TAB) files were expanded, they will collapse. Expand subdivisions.tab and note that only populated feature classes are now listed.
You can preview the geometry and attributes of the data, and use the ArcCatalog Identify tool to get information about specific features.
You can also browse the metadata for the data. ArcCatalog automatically populates some of the metadata fields, based on properties of the data.