Robin's Blog

Finally – a way to move an ArcGIS map to another computer without breaking it

Just a quick post this time, as I’m currently enjoying a nice holiday (well, holiday combined with work) in France. I had to post this because I’ve just realised that one of my biggest gripes with ArcGIS has been fixed in version 10! Hooray!

I suspect a lot of other people have been frustrated by this too: if you want to take an ArcGIS map document and use it on another computer it is (or at least, was) very difficult. The .mpd file only contains references to the actual data for the map, so you have to find where all of the data is stored and take that with you too – and whats more, the references are often stored as relative path names, so even moving it to a different folder on the same computer is a pain. In fact, I seem to remember being taught in an undergraduate ArcGIS course never to move an ArcGIS .mpd file once I had created it!

Anyway, ArcGIS 10 appears to have a new function called Map Packages. This allows you to package a .mpd file with all of the data that it uses into one (quite big, probably) .mpk file, which is then completely portable. Sounds great!

I haven’t been able to test it yet (I haven’t got ArcGIS on the laptop with me in France), but it sounds like it’ll be very useful.

For more information, see this ArcGIS blog post.

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This post originally appeared on Robin's Blog.

Categorised as: Academic, GIS, Remote Sensing


  1. works really well with Online GIS, but sadly is proprietary. I have not been able to find any tool or Open source gis software that would automatically read the .mpd
    Pls email me if you have.
    London Ont Canada

  2. Robin Wilson says:

    Unfortunately I don’t know of any open source tools that will read these files – which is a great shame.

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