I do have some of my data stored in an Oracle database which was set up before I started. These are mostly the layers which appear on the Intranet GIS. As there are relatively few layers in Oracle they are just named by a simple description of what they area 'properties' 'offices' 'nurseries' etc. I can import these layers from Oracle whenever I need them, however my connection is slow so I just leave them to be.
All my other data which I have gathered since I have started is on my computer. I have all the datasets that I use on a regular basis in a base folder. This includes both our internal data, and data that we have bought such as BoundaryLine and Andes. If my data would be used group wide then I prefix it with group, if it is just used for a particular function I start the filename with that. I chose to do it this way rather than by geography as we are a national organisation so many of our layers have data for the whole country.
Right now I'm the only person who makes maps (other than prints off site plans from the Intranet), but in the future I would like others to be able to do. In this case much of the data would need to be migrated into Oracle so that others can grab it but we are quite a way off that yet.
As others have said you just need to pick a convention that will make sense to everyone else not just you. I try to always think about if I left tomorrow and someone had to pick up from where I left off, would they be able to find what they need and would it make sense.
How do you store yours?
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