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Is it possible to open a PGDB file in software other than ArcGIS?

i.e are there any open source software available just for viewing the data?

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4 Answers 4

You can open a PGDB in Microsoft Access if you have it as it's just an access database.

If you need opensource then you could use OpenOffice

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Note that this will allow you to view the tabular data, but you will not be able to see the feature geometries. – user3461 Aug 28 '12 at 11:10
You should also be careful to keep a backup of your personal geodatabase before doing this. While Access is a great way to peek into the database, and even make changes, you can easily kill your database if you edit the wrong table – Stephen Lead Aug 29 '12 at 1:40

It can be viewed in Quantum GIS, a popular open source desktop gis application.

Choose Layer > Add Vector Layer and select Personal Geodatabase from File Types.

It will display all feature classes. But advanced ESRI features like Network and Topology will not be visible.

enter image description here

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The free TatukGIS viewer will open ESRI personal geodatabases. It is not open source.

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Thanks. Seems perfect for the times I just need to quickly view a file. – user3461 Aug 29 '12 at 0:28

As a side note, as you mentioned just being able to view the files only. You could try exporting to a layer package file.

The layer package derived from personal databases or layers contained therein, can be viewed in free software like ArcGIS Explorer (

This is useful if people need to view files, but do not have access to an ArcGIS Licence.

I don't know if that is exactly what you needed. But, hopefully the information is useful.

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