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Feature datasets in ArcGIS Pro

A feature dataset is a collection of related feature classes that share a common coordinate system. Feature datasets are used to facilitate building controller datasets (sometimes also referred to as extension datasets) such as a topology or utility network. Feature classes that are to be included in an extension dataset are first organized into a feature dataset.

Setting up a feature dataset involves three primary tasks:

  • Create a feature dataset
  • Add the set of feature classes that will be held in your feature dataset
  • Create a controller dataset, such as a topology or utility network, to model relationships between the feature classes and add rich geodatabase behavior

Only the user who created the feature dataset can add feature classes to it.

Privileges on feature datasets

In enterprise geodatabases, the owner of the data can grant privileges on a feature dataset to let other database users view or modify the feature classes that they contain.

For feature datasets, privileges work as follows:

  • All feature classes within a feature dataset must have the same privileges.
  • When granting privileges for users or roles at the feature dataset level, the privileges will apply to all feature classes contained within the feature dataset.
  • It is not possible to grant different privileges to different feature classes within a feature dataset.
  • New feature classes added to the feature dataset will inherit the privileges set on the feature dataset automatically.

See Grant and revoke dataset privileges for information on how to set privileges on a feature dataset.

Spatial reference

When creating a feature dataset, you must define its spatial reference. This includes its coordinate system, either geographic or a specific projection, as well as coordinate units and tolerances for x-, y-, z-, and m-values. All feature classes in the same feature dataset must share a common coordinate system, and x,y coordinates of their features should fall within a common spatial extent.

When you create a feature class in an existing feature dataset, the coordinate system is inherited from the feature dataset.

See An overview of spatial references for information on defining the coordinate system and spatial reference.

Create a feature dataset

  1. To create a feature dataset, right-click the target geodatabase in the Catalog pane, select New, and click Feature Dataset Feature dataset. This will prompt the Create Feature Dataset geoprocessing tool to open.
  2. Type a name for the feature dataset in the Feature Dataset Name text box.
  3. Choose a coordinate system, either by selecting one from the Coordinate System drop-down menu or by clicking the Select coordinate system button next to it and choosing one from the Coordinate System dialog box that appears.
  4. Click Run to create the feature dataset.