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Tip #147: Download (Get) a GIS Schema & Export it to a FXL File

By Erin Johnson posted 04-09-2021 10:33


Good morning TBC’ers! After last week’s tip on establishing a GIS connection in TBC, you may be now wondering how to download a GIS schema containing feature definitions from a geodatabase and create a Feature Definition Library (FXL) file that can be used to collect corresponding feature data in the field. Luckily, the Get GIS Schema command does just this.


To utilize the Get GIS Schema command, follow these steps:

1. Navigate to the GIS Ribbon and select Get GIS Schema under Feature Definition:

2. In the Select GIS data connection drop-down list, select the data connection that you want to use:

3. Feature types included in the data source for the selected connection are displayed in the Features types list. If applicable, click to expand a feature type to display its attribute types:


Note: A string-type field in a shapefile or file geodatabase whose name starts with “Photo” will be mapped to an attribute of type “Photo” when TBC feature definitions are created. Similarly, a string-type field whose name starts with “Filename” will be mapped to an attribute of the type “File”. Attributes that are created will have the same name as the shapefile or file geodatabase fields.

4. To exclude any feature type from the resulting FXL file, uncheck its box in the list.
5. In the Description field, enter a brief description of the schema that you can select later when using the Write Features to GIS command:

6. In the FXL file name field, enter a name for the new FXL file. Optionally, click the Browse button located to the right of the field and select a folder in which to store the file. If you do not select a folder, the default location for the FXL file is: C:\Users\<name>\Documents\Feature Definition Manager:

7. Optionally, ensure the Open FXL in Feature Definition Manager after export checkbox is checked if you want the newly created FXL file to open automatically in the Feature Definition Manager so that you can review, and modify as necessary, the feature definitions:

8. Click the Export to FXL button:


The new FXL will open in the Feature Definition Manager:

The FXL can now be downloaded to Trimble Access and used to collect feature data in the field. You can then import the field data into TBC via a JXL file, use the same FXL file to process it, and then upload (write) the feature data back to the data source.


I hope this tip expands your knowledge of GIS workflows in TBC!