Displaying PostGIS data in ArcGIS Desktop

There are a few ways to display PostGIS data in an ArcGIS Desktop map.  The easiest I’ve found is to use Ragi Burham‘s OGR Plugin for ArcGIS.  It allows you to bring in data from almost any OGR supported vector format, including PostGIS and Spatialite.  For right now the layers you bring in will be read-only but according to the project’s FAQ write support will be added thanks to new features in ArcGIS Desktop 10.1 SP1.

The project is in Beta and there are some rough corners.  To connect to your PostGIS database you have to provide a connection string, there is no GUI for this as of yet.  For now though, the example connection string under the field where you type in your information is a very good guide on what information you need and how it needs to be formatted in order to create a connection.  Once you bring in your layers they act like any other vector layer, except they are read-only.  The only problem I’ve found so far is labels aren’t placed correctly.

On the bright side this plugin allows you to use your PostGIS vector layers as base layers for data creation and editing.  You can use ArcGIS’s snapping and trace features as if the layers were a native shapefile or feature class and for cartography purposes you can symbolize your layers by category or quantity.

Overall this plugin is a great addition, a simple way to integrate OSgeo data, and other OGR supported data into your maps.


UPDATE: Map documents don’t store the connection information, so if you save a mxd and open it later the connections to your PostGIS layers will be broken.

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