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About tables

Release 9.1
Last modified December 7, 2006
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A table is a database component that contains a series of rows and columns, where each row, or record, represents a geographic feature—such as a parcel, power pole, highway, or lake—and each column, or field, describes a particular attribute of the feature—such as length, depth, or cost. Tables are stored in a database—for example, INFO, Access, dBASE, FoxPro, Oracle, or SQL Server.

Working with attributes

You'll typically use tables in ArcMap to inspect the attributes of geographic features. From a table, you can identify features with particular attributes and select them on the map. Over time, you might also update the attributes to reflect changes to geographic features, for example, a new subdivision extends your parcel database, or the construction of a dam alters a river network.

Joining data

Tables can also store information related to features such as warehouse inventories, monthly sales figures, and maintenance records. By joining this information to your spatial data, you can uncover new patterns and relationships that were not readily apparent. For example, you might see which stores have the top monthly sales figures, what roads require maintenance in the near future, or where the largest number of endangered species are located.

The elements of a table

To familiarize yourself with the main elements of a table, view a table with element descriptions.

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