Let’s run through a quick example of how files of the same variety of data, taken at different times, might be compared. Just as an example of one way of doing the comparison, we’ll make use of the topology tool available to us in geodatabase feature data sets. We’ll use the buffer tool as well. For a second example, we use the ArcMap Time Slider to look at the history of road repaving over several years.
Suppose that we are interested in knowing what new streets were built in a city in the United States over approximately a decade. We have available a feature data set derived from the 1994 TIGER/Line files from the 1990 census. We also have more current files: roads from the 2000 census. Suppose that we place both files in a personal geodatabase’s feature data set. Then, we could make a display showing both files. There would, of course, be a great amount of overlap. We can identify that overlap using topology. If we could then delete the streets that are (almost) coincident, we would be able to see the new streets that were added. You do that in the following project.