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What is a geoprocessing package?

A geoprocessing package is a convenient way to share geoprocessing workflows by packaging one or more tools and the data used by the tools into a single compressed file (.gpkx). Geoprocessing packages are created from one or more successfully run geoprocessing tools. All tool settings and environments, models, scripts, data, layers, and files needed to run the tool are included in the package. This means someone with your package can rerun your tool to produce the exact same results, or use the tool with different data to produce new results. The package can also contain additional files, such as text documents, slide shows, and compressed ZIP files, that provide more information or resources about using your tool.

You and others can use the tools and data inside the package by adding it to your ArcGIS Pro project, which extracts or unpacks the contents of the package to the <User Documents>\ArcGIS\Packages folder.

Note:

Geoprocessing packages created in ArcGIS Pro can only be used in ArcGIS Pro.

Learn more about using geoprocessing packages

Create a geoprocessing package

There are two methods for creating geoprocessing packages:

  • Select the successfully run geoprocessing tool you want to package from the list of tools under Share > Package > Geoprocessing. This will open the Geoprocessing Package pane. Alternatively, you can right-click a successfully run tool in the Geoprocessing History node of the Catalog pane, and select Share As > Geoprocessing Package
  • Use the geoprocessing tools in the Package toolset. These tools give you a finer degree of control over how data and tools are packaged, but do not have interactive analyzing capabilities to find problems with the tools you are packaging, and you must use a separate tool to upload a package to ArcGIS online.

Learn more about creating geoprocessing packages

Examples

Geoprocessing packages can be used to

  • Share methodology
  • Collaborate on a project
  • Consolidate tools and data into a centralized location
  • Evaluate multiple scenarios
  • Train others how to perform a workflow

Sharing methodologies

You may have an expertise in a particular subject, such as surface water runoff modeling, or expertise in a technique, such as linear referencing. You can share your expertise using a geoprocessing package, delivering sample data and models you've developed, along with related files such as PDF documents that further explain your methods. The recipients of your package can study your methodologies and apply them to their own data.

Project collaboration

Suppose you have a project where your colleagues are in different locations and are working on different aspects of the project. For example, in a site suitability study, one of your colleagues is responsible for evaluating soils, while another is dealing with transportation issues. The results of their individual investigations can be packaged and shared with everyone working on the project. At key points in the project, these individual packages can be consolidated into one package for redistribution to all team members.

Consolidating

This may have happened to you: you're working on project and you have a map with 15 layers, and their data is from different places—some is on your local disks, some consists of UNC paths to different machines on your network, and some may be data from enterprise databases. You're deep into developing some models that use some but not all the data. And now you've got to unplug your laptop from the network and go on the road, and you want to continue working on your models, but you're going to be off the network. All you need to do is run the models you're working on to create results, then package the results into a geoprocessing package. All the data and models are included in the package. (When packaging with the Package Result tool, you can specify that you only want data in the current map extent and to extract enterprise database data into a file geodatabase that's included in the package.) You then unpack the package to a folder on your local disk, and you have everything you need to continue working consolidated into one folder.

Consolidating data into a single folder is such a common task that there are a suite of tools in the Package toolset that consolidate data. These tools are a shortcut to packing and the unpacking to a specific folder.

Evaluating scenarios

Your project may involve creating many different scenarios. For example, you might be developing land-use plans for a region, and you need alternative plans for different assumptions, such as high growth in some areas and negative growth in others, planned improvements in transportation and other infrastructure, and funds available for open space purchases. Each plan forms a scenario: a unique collection of data, edits to the data, models, and model parameters. You can create a geoprocessing package to quickly make a snapshot of a scenario, freeing you to create new scenarios.

Training

If you provide training courses for your staff or others outside your organization, you can use packages to deliver your course materials.