Loading the CDS Package With Sample Data

Arches manages cultual heritage resources through the use of packages. A package defines the types of resources that Arches should manage and the resources’ attributes. This can include things like the web based forms neccessary to create and edit resources, reports, and services to support search. In reality, though, it can include almost anything the package developer wants to add into Arches.

You will need to load at least one Arches Package into your Arches Server to begin managing a cultural heritage inventory. These are these steps demonstrate the process for the CDS Package.

Step 1: Download the CDS Package

Get a copy of the CDS package by going to the Packages section at http://archesproject.org/download-arches/

Create a folder called “cds” in archesproject/packages and download the code to that folder (unzip if neccesary)

I>you should have a directory structure simlar to this:


Step 2: Install the Package

Open the archesproject/settings.py in your favorite text editor.

Add an entry in the INSTALLED_PACKAGES setting coresponding to the name of the folder you created to hold the CDS Package in the packages directory (following our example above, it would look like this)

    # entries here should correspond to folders within the packages directory

I> Don’t forget the trailing comma for a single entry in a python tuple

If you don’t want to load the test data that comes with the package, open the package’s settings.py file (don’t confuse this with the Arches settings.py file from above) and set LOAD_TEST_DATA = False

Open a command window, and navigate to:


Run the following script to install the CDS package:

install_packages.bat (on Windows)

install_packages.sh (on Linux)

Congatulations! You’ve just completed the steps needed to install the core Arches application and CDS package on your server. This package comes loaded with sample data provided by English Heritage.

Go to the following URL and check it out!


Loading the CDS Package With Your Own Data

Remember, a package defines the available resource types and attributes that you can use to describe resources within those types. What it does not define is the content of the data itself. Therefore, it is possible to “map” your own data into the resource types and attributes that are defined in the CDS Package.

The button pushing for loading the package with your own data is identical to the workflow described above. However, before you “Install the Package”, replace the content of the source data files with your own custom content.

Note: If you do this after you “Install the Package,” then your changes will not be reflected in the Arches database. This must be done before you install the package.

There are two types of source data files to concern yourself with in this process 1. Authority Documents 2. resource_info

Step 1: Modify Authority Documents

The purpose and structure of authority documents are described in some detail in Section 7 of this document. First and foremost, populate the authority document files with the content that you wish to use for the attributes that are constrained by controlled vocabularies.

If you want to do anything fancy with your controlled vocabularies like associate them with geometries, add attributes supporting attributes to them, or arrange them hierarchically, then take a very close look at Chapter 7.

Step 2: Populate resource_info

The purpose and structure of resource_info is described in some detail in Section 7 of this document. The key points to remember as you construct your resource_info file are the following:

  1. Make sure that the data in the attributename column is constrained to valid attributename values from “CDS attributes.csv”. This file defines the set of resource types and attributes for given resource types within the CDS package.
  2. Make sure that the attributevalue for any attributename ending with ‘.E55’ is a valid conceptid as defined in one of the authority files… that you ostensibly edited.

Be sure to read up on information from Chapter 7 describing the purpose of resourceid, resourcetype, and groupid (especially groupid) columns within the resource_info file.

Step 3: Install the Package

Follow the direction outlined in Step 2 in the first workflow of this chapter.


There may be a point at which the resource types and their respective attributes do not sufficiently meet the business need that you are using Arches to fulfill. That is the point when you need create or use a differnt “package.” See chapter XXX for guidance on defining and building your own Arches package.