Take the 2-minute tour ×
Geographic Information Systems Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for cartographers, geographers and GIS professionals. It's 100% free, no registration required.

In what format can a drawn polyline (in a custom-built software) be saved so as to be able to be converted to shapefiles or usable in ArcGIS?

share|improve this question
Your question isn't clear. Why can't you just save to a shapefile format in the first place? Its a mostly-open format. –  GIS-Jonathan Jul 17 '12 at 12:35
Omololu can you please explain your question further - it is currently unclear what you want to achieve. –  Mapperz Jul 17 '12 at 13:25

2 Answers 2

For Vector format there are many formats supported.
This 10.0 help page has links to each, the other storage options seems to be where you are asking your question.

This 9.3 help page is a little dated.

share|improve this answer

Personally I would try incorporate a library/API to write the data out of my software. FME Objects for a commercial solution, OGR for an open source one. Either one would be able to write directly to Shape.

If you really want to write a data format "manually" then go for a simple ASCII one like an x/y CSV format, WKT, some flavour of GML, or maybe even GeoJSON (Esri JSON?) - they'd be relatively simple and have tools available to convert them.

share|improve this answer

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.