In case of a sparse checkout (i.e. not fully recursive), externals are omitted

In case of large repositories, which is often the case with data repositories such as openearthrawdata, it is recommended to create a sparse checkout. This allows you to maintain the directory structure identical to the repository itself, but only get the data for specific parts that are of interest for you.

Sparse checkout with TortoiseSVN

In order to create a sparse checkout, you use the same menu of TortoiseSVN you would use for a usual (fully recursive) checkout; the only difference is the checkout depth:


  1. Checkout the main directory of openearthrawdata. Set Checkout Depth to 'Only this item' or 'Immediate children, including folders'. Do not choose 'Fully recursive'!

  2. Open the Repository Browser:  Right-Mouse Button (RMB) on the newly created folder ==> TortoiseSVN ==> Repo-browser (or immediately Update to revision on a subfolder).

  3. Navigate to the folder you want to checkout completely.

  4. Press RMB on that subfolder, and select 'Update item to revision'.
  5. Press OK

You now have a partial checkout. If you later decide to checkout more, you can use the 'Update item to revision' trick on other folders.


Sparse checkout with command line tools

Another option is to use Command line tools. The options for the checkout depth are:

  • Fully recursive: Checkout the entire tree, including all child folders and sub-folders.

    "Fully recursive" is default but is certainly not recommended here since the size of the data will soon grown beyond the storage capacity of your computer.
     svn checkout --username=USERNAME --depth infinity openearthrawdata
  • Immediate children, including folders: Checkout the specified directory, including all files and child folders, but do not populate the child folders.

     svn checkout --username=USERNAME --depth immediates openearthrawdata
  • Only file children: Checkout the specified directory, including all files but do not checkout any child folders.

     svn checkout --username=USERNAME --depth files openearthrawdata
  • Only this item: Checkout the directory only. Do not populate it with files or child folders.

     svn checkout --username=USERNAME --depth empty openearthrawdata