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Create a parcel fabric

Use the Create Parcel Fabric geoprocessing tool to create an empty parcel fabric in a feature dataset.

The parcel fabric is created as a controller dataset that controls the following simple feature classes and geodatabase topology:

  • Parcel type feature classes (polygon and line)
  • Geodatabase topology
  • Records feature class
  • Connections feature class
  • Points feature class

Requirements

The requirements for creating a parcel fabric are as follows:

  • A file geodatabase or an enterprise geodatabase. Enterprise geodatabases must support branch versioning.
    Note:

    The parcel fabric supports Branch versioning type only.

  • Enterprise geodatabases should be in a supported DBMS (SQL Server, Oracle, or PostGreSQL) and have the following minimum supported database versions:
  • A feature dataset
    • The feature dataset should be unversioned.
    • The parcel fabric will inherit the spatial reference of the feature dataset.
    • The feature dataset in an enterprise geodatabase must be from a database connection established as a database authenticated user. This user must have database privileges to create content and cannot be an OS authenticated, the database administrator, or the geodatabase administrator account. The connected user will become the parcel fabric owner and administrator.
    • Only one parcel fabric can be created in a feature dataset.

What is a parcel fabric

A parcel fabric stores a dataset of connected parcels or a parcel network. Parcels are comprised of polygon features, line features, and point features. Parcels are stored as parcel types, and each parcel type has its own polygon and line feature class. Points are stored in a separate feature class and represent all parcel corner points and reference points in the parcel fabric.

A parcel fabric is created as a controller dataset that controls simple feature classes and a geodatabase topology.

Lines store the recorded COGO dimensions from the legal parcel record. Lines represent boundary lines for parcels and connection lines. Connection lines are stored in a separate feature class and connect parcel points across roads and to reference (control) points.

In land management systems, parcels are defined on a legal recorded document. Parcels can be defined by boundaries (metes and bounds) or coordinates. In a boundaries system, lines store the recorded COGO dimensions, and the parcel polygon is defined by the lines. In a coordinate-based system, parcels are defined by corner points that store recorded coordinates.

The parcel fabric is a records-driven system. The parcel fabric organizes parcel data based on the form in which it was originally recorded. Parcel data is recorded on legal records such as plans, plats, deeds, and records of survey. Parcels are created and edited in response to changes in the legal record, and parcels are edited using record-driven workflows. The parcel fabric preserves historic and parent parcels. By capturing the legal record that created or retired a parcel, the parcel lineage can be tracked in both directions. In an enterprise deployment, all edits are tracked, and the parcel fabric can be compared with its state in a previous moment in time.

Data model

The parcel fabric is created as a controller dataset that controls simple feature classes and a geodatabase topology. The parcel fabric uses geodatabase topology rules and parcel rules to define parcels and model their behavior. Geodatabase topology rules define the spatial relationships between parcel features, and parcel rules define behavior that is specific to parcel features. Attribute rules can be configured to define additional behavior for parcels and enforce data quality in the parcel fabric.

Parcel fabric data model

The parcel fabric is a controller dataset that controls simple feature classes and a topology.

All parcel fabric feature classes can be extended with user-defined attributes, domains, and related tables.

Editing environment

Parcels in the parcel fabric are comprised of point, line and polygon feature classes. Parcel feature classes are simple feature classes and can be edited with parcel tools and standard editing tools. Topological integrity between parcel features is maintained using map topology, which is automatically turned on when a parcel fabric layer is added to the map. Map topology automatically maintains coincidence with adjacent features when individual parcel features are edited.

Learn more about the parcel fabric editing environment

Parcel types

Parcels are added to the parcel fabric as parcel types. A parcel type is comprised of a polygon and line feature class and is defined by your organization. For example, your organization may manage both ownership/tax parcels and subdivision parcels. You can add as many parcel types as necessary for your organization.

Use the Add Parcel Type geoprocessing tool to add a parcel type to your parcel fabric. Right-click a parcel fabric in the Catalog pane and click Add Parcel Type Add to load the Add Parcel Type geoprocessing tool.

Use the Remove Parcel Type geoprocessing tool to unregister a parcel type from the parcel fabric. The parcel type feature classes can be deleted.

Learn more about parcel types

Records

The parcel fabric is a records-driven system and organizes parcel data based on the form in which the data was originally recorded. Parcel data is recorded on legal records such as plans, plats, deeds, and records of survey. In the parcel fabric, all parcel features are associated with the legal record, and parcels are created and edited in response to changes in the legal record. By associating parcels with the legal record, parcel lineage can be tracked, and parcels can be linked with external recording systems.

Parcels are associated with their legal parcel record that is stored in the Records feature class.

The Records feature class is a polygon feature class that stores the following information:

  • A global ID for every record, which is referenced by all the parcel features associated with the record
  • The geometry of the record, which is the record footprint. The record polygon should match the geometry of all the parcels associated with it.
  • A single record feature for every legal record added to the parcel fabric.
  • Unique record names that allow for integration and association with external recording systems.
  • A Record Type field that stores user-defined record types.

The feature class has a set of predefined system attribute fields and can be extended with user-defined attributes, domains, and related tables.

Learn more about managing parcel records

Connection lines

Connection lines are used to define measurements between points that are not parcel boundaries. Connection lines can be used to do the following:

  • Connect parcel corner points across right-of-ways (roads).
  • Connect parcel corner points to control points.
  • Represent road centerlines.

Connection lines are associated with the legal record that created or retired them.

The Connection lines feature class is a COGO-enabled lines feature class. Dimensions for connection lines can usually be derived from the legal record or plan using road widths and adjacent parcel boundary dimensions.

The feature class has a set of predefined system attribute fields and can be extended with user-defined attributes, domains, and related tables.

Points and control points

Points in the parcel fabric represent a physical location on the ground. A point location is either a known marked location or an assumed location. Point locations can represent parcel corners, end points of connection lines, and stand-alone cadastral reference features such as control points. A point represents a single location and there should be no duplicate or overlapping points. In the parcel fabric, points exist independently of parcels and maintain connectivity and topological integrity between parcels.

Points are either fixed or nonfixed. Nonfixed points have coordinates that can be updated. Fixed points have coordinates that cannot be adjusted, and their geometries do not change. Fixed points can represent control points or be used to hold a parcel boundary as fixed (cannot be adjusted).

Control points represent accurate, surveyed x,y,z coordinates for physical features on the surface of the earth. Control points can be held as fixed or nonfixed.

Points are associated with the legal record that created or retired them. If x,y,z coordinates are entered for a parcel fabric point, the coordinates are considered recorded information (information from the legal record). Points can become historic if all the parcels sharing the point have become historic.

The Points feature class has a set of predefined system attribute fields and can be extended with user-defined attributes, domains, and related tables.

The coordinates and attributes of parcel fabric points can be updated using the Import Parcel Fabric Points geoprocessing tool

Topology and rules

The parcel fabric uses geodatabase topology rules and parcel rules to define parcels and model their behavior. Geodatabase topology rules define the spatial relationships between parcel features, and parcel rules define behavior that is specific to parcel features. Attribute rules can be configured to define additional behavior for parcels and enforce data quality in the parcel fabric.

The parcel fabric is validated using a required set of geodatabase topology rules and parcel rules. You can define additional topology rules and attribute rules to enforce data quality standards in your organization.

Parcel type behavior can be defined by configuring different sets of topology and attribute rules for parcel types, and their subtypes. For example, a topology rule can be added that allows historic parcels in the parcel type to overlap.

Parcel fabric data quality can be assessed by validating edits against the required and additional rules.

Learn more about the parcel topology

Enable the topology

When the parcel fabric is created, parcel fabric feature classes are added to the topology, but the rules are not applied. After adding your parcel types and loading data, run the Enable Parcel Topology geoprocessing tool to enable the topology and parcel rules for your parcel fabric feature classes.