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I want to create and edit Shapefiles for my application, and I'm looking for a free shape (ESRI) file editor - free for creating and editing.

Thanks in advance.

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4 Answers 4

up vote 12 down vote accepted

There are lots of free GIS tools available. One of the imho best is QuantumGIS: http://www.qgis.org. It is available for win/mac and linux.

But maybe you prefer openjump a tool written in java, which has special strengths in editing, topology-checking: http://www.openjump.org/

Also take a look at: http://freegis.org/

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Openjump worked fine for me,thanks. –  AliRezza Dec 6 '11 at 9:48
QGIS is the best of the bunch when you have the plugins too. –  Mapperz Dec 6 '11 at 14:41
If you want topological editing, consider GRASS GIS. See for example grass.osgeo.org/wiki/Digitizing_Area_Features –  markusN Dec 7 '11 at 0:24

Also, if you do not mind some scripting in Python, there is Shapefile module for this.

Small example, create .shp with point features from coords in .xls:

import xlrd
import shapefile

Path = "c:/"
f = "Excel_w_coords.xls"

# Open Excel workbook
wb = xlrd.open_workbook(Path + f)

# List all sheets in Excel
list = wb.sheet_names()

for i in list:
        sh = wb.sheet_by_name(i)
        # Make a point shapefile
        w = shapefile.Writer(shapefile.POINT)
        for rownum in range(sh.nrows):
            RowList = sh.row_values(rownum)
            ID = RowList[0]
            x = RowList[2]
            y = RowList[1]
            z = RowList[3]
        w.save('C:/' + i)

del f, Path, wb,

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uDig is also an option

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If you just want to view shapefiles quickly, http://www.mapdoc.co.uk does quick shapefile reading in the browser (dont need to download anything or upload file). You need modern browser though

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