GIS Cookbook: Getting Started - How to Open a Map Document, then Add Data  
Keywords: ArcMap, project, open project, add data, map document, open map document
Category: Starters
Software: ArcGIS 8/9.x

Problem: Most recipes require me to open a new map document (project) and then add data. How do I do these tasks?

Description: At the start of many recipes included in the CSISS Cookbook, the first lines of instruction will be to "open a new map document" and then to "add data." The following recipe will show you how to execute these steps.

1) Click on the Start button, go to Programs, go to ArcGIS, select ArcMap. The following windows will appear on your screen. If you are not able to find the program this way, please See Pitfall 1.

2a) To open a new map document with an empty data frame, select the bullet next to A new empty map and then select OK.

Starting a new map document

2b) To open an existing project, select the An existing map bullet. Then select OK.

Open an already existing map document

3) After selecting a map document, you can now add data.
To add data, click the Add Data Button.

Note: You can also go to File -> Add Data .
The following window will appear

Adding data

4) First, you will map your data drive. This allows you to select the directory and folder within which your data layers are stored, so you do not have to search for the folder every time you upload data. This way, you only need to direct the program to that folder once.

Click on the Connect to Folder button in the Add Data window.

The Connect to Folder window will appear. Use it to navigate to the folder where the data files you would like to add to your map are located.

Connect to the folder where your data is located

5) After connecting to the folder, navigate to the data file or files you would like to add and select the data files by clicking on them (use the Shift or Ctrl keys to select multiple files), and then click Add.

6) Your data will appear in your map window. You can repeat the Add Data process as many times as necessary. However, once you have connected to your folder one time you do not have to do it again, unless you would like to retrieve data from another folder or directory.
Authored by: Benjamin N. Sprague Modified: 2/4/05

Copyright © 2002-2015 by Regents of University of California, Santa Barbara
Cookbook: Ben Sprague, Ethan Sundilson, Carlin Wong, Sam Ying