Getting Started with Gizinta for ArcGIS

This page will help you to get started with Gizinta for your own project. It is a short document, but we hope that a short checklist plus the videos will help you to get started quickly.

There are 2 parts to the Gizinta download for ArcGIS – the Tools and the gzLand example:


The gzLand folder contains a small implementation example that will help you to get started with your own project. It has a number of Gizinta Xml files that are the heart of the Gizinta setup for a project. It also has a few toolboxes and Geoprocessing models to show how to run the tools. A screen capture from ArcCatalog shows the contents below.


The Tools folder contains the set of Gizinta Geoprocessing tools written in arcpy.


If you are a programmer or just want to keep up to date with the latest changes, you should sync your Tools folder with our repository onĀ Github.

To get a deeper understanding of the tools you should watch the videos on the Gizinta website and explore the documentation for each tool in ArcGIS Desktop. Each tool has useful information embedded in it, such as:


When you select the parameters for each tool, there is also Help for each parameter.


Implementation Steps

  1. Setup the gzLand and Tools folders on your computer. Each one of your projects should be parallel to the Tools folder like the gzLand example. This helps with managing multiple projects and files using the same Tools folder. You really just want one copy of the Tools so that updates and moving projects between machines is easier.
  2. Open the RunAll Model in the gzVille Toolbox. You should explore that model to see the general pattern for extract, fieldCalculator, sourceTargetQA, and Load functions. Not that not all of the possibilities are shown here, but you should get a good head start by understanding the model and the processing. You can also watch the videos again when you are getting ready to build your Gizinta project.
  3. Create your own project folder parallel to the gzLand folder and copy the Gizinta toolboxes into that folder, along with any datasets or database connections you plan to use. An example project is shown below with the typical folder structure.
  4. Setup your first source-target mapping Gizinta file. Run the “Create Gizinta File” Tool and select your source and target datasets and the name of the output file to create. Note that if you have the ArcGIS Data Interoperability Extension enabled you will be able to match and load from many additional data sources. Just pick the datasets as shown below:
  5. You can set these files up one by one, or you can create a Geoprocessing model that includes multiple Create File tools for your project. If your source and target dataset names match, you can also use the “Create Gizinta Project Files” tool – it will create xml files for names that match between source and target databases. This one is especially useful if you are simply pushing data to a publishing database or other extract that has almost the same data model as the source database.
  6. Set up the individual field mappings by hand-editing the Xml file or using the “Gizinta Field Mapper” tool. You can see examples of this in the videos if you want to watch it in action. This is the time to configure the individual processing to be performed on each source field to prepare for the target database. The tools basically will perform and ArcGIS Append to the target data model, so if the field names match your target database should be populated.
  7. It’s a good idea to test incrementally as you go. Use each file to process datasets one-by-one. Once things are looking good, consider making a Playlist using the “Create Gizinta Playlist” tool. All of the tools accept either Files or Playlists, so you can tailor specific processes and run groups of datasets at one time using a playlist.
  8. If one dataset loads to multiple target datasets, take a look at the iterator Toolbox included with the download. In that example it will run from source to target for each dataset so that the fieldCalculator does not run multiple times on the same intermediate dataset. It’s a tricky example but a common one so check this one out if the same source dataset is loaded to more than one target.
  9. It is also a good idea to test locally with file geodatabases for the source GDB, intermediate Gizinta.gdb and target database. If you are working with other Geodatabase sources and targets you can just switch the workspaces in the Models you have built once you have completed initial testing and verification.
  10. Once you have everything dialed in, it is often a good idea to export your Model as a script and then run it as a scheduled Windows task. That way you can set the process to run on a regular basis for web publishing or other data sharing projects. If you are just loading data to a target Geodatabase then you probably won’t need this step.