Geographic Information Systems Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for cartographers, geographers and GIS professionals. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I recently tried to use QGIS and I wondered if you can convert a draft ArcGIS map (*.mxd file) into a QGIS project (*.qgs file).

This would avoid thematize the entire project.

share|improve this question
I downloaded the MXD2QGS executable and python file. I had some issues with the xml.dom.ext as that module isn't packaged with Python 2.6 or 2.7. I just got rid of that call and re-wrote line 411 to: f.write(doc.toprettyxml()) This will handle writing the output instead of using xml.dom.ext. Also, I had to change line 227 to: if(lyr.isGroupLayer == False and lyr.isRasterLayer == False and lyr.isFeatureLayer == True): This is because the script seemed to have issues with annotation layers, so I wanted to filter firther by adding the lyr.isFeatureLayer == True condition So, this gets me .q – Mike Mar 8 '13 at 23:35
I've been working on this problem. I reverted back to the original script without my edits. I'm using Arc 10.1 Python 2.7. I installed PyXML for Python 2.7 from here:… and then ran from IDLE using hardcoding for inputs and outputs. This works fine. I am able to create the .qgs layer and bring it into Quantum successfully. I think the toolbox in the MXD2QGS download is created as an Arc 10.0 toolbox. I suggest creating a new toolbox in 10.1, recreate all the parameters and source to .py file. – Mike Mar 11 '13 at 21:22
Running mxd2qgs on ArcMap 10.0 and Python 2.6.5, I am getting <type 'exceptions.RuntimeError'>: Object: Describe input value is not valid type. Please advise if possible, I am rather stuck. Thanks! – user2426679 Dec 27 '15 at 21:13

This looks like the sort of thing you want:

On Wednesday, Allan Maungu announced MXD2QGS, a converter that exports layers from an Arcmap 10 document into a Quantum GIS project file. The tool is built as an ArcToolbox and can be downloaded from the blog.

The only working download link seems to be

There's also one for doing ArcView 3.x files apparently:

share|improve this answer
@underdark - Thanks for the edit, much improved the answer. – GIS-Jonathan Apr 19 '12 at 9:28
Hi - I'm trying to install this converter on my machine but being on ArcGIS 10.1 I've got Python v. 2.7 which does not seem to be supported by this installer. Any thoughts ?? Thanks, Magda – Magda Feb 5 '13 at 9:24

geocat offers a commercial ArcMap plugin called 'Bridge' that can convert all of your ArcMap symbology to SLD (there is an open source alternative arcmap2sld). In QGIS you can import SLD and use this as style for QGIS layer. In bridge the tree structure of the TOC is exported as WMC, and the data as shapefiles (including metadata .shp.xml) and tiff's. I would want to create a tool in Qgis that can read the WMC, sld's and data and create a qgis project from that. Anyone interested in such a tool?

share|improve this answer
Is there a tool to do this thing? Convert WMC to qgis project? Or expand qGis to read WMC files? – Menelaos Vergis Feb 23 at 13:57

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.