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I am attempting to convert coverage files into shapefiles using arcpy. This is not the e00 files, but the bin files. ArcGIS help suggests that it can be done using FeatureClassToFeatureClass_conversion, but I am getting an error saying "parcels does not exist or not supported".

fileName = 'C:\\May_2014_Parcels' + "\\" + filename + "\\" + subfilename + "\\parcels"

r'C:\May_2014_Parcels\Output\parcels.gdb', filename + "_" + subfilename)

How do I actually get the featureclass out of the coverage file so I can perform this task?

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This doesn't really answer your question, but you might find it easier to use os.path.join() instead of concatenating double backslashes and folder names. – Paul May 29 '14 at 21:28
up vote 5 down vote accepted

Coverages are like TAB and CAD files in that they can have multiple feature types. For example, a polygon coverage has polygons, lines, nodes, points (labels) and optionally tics.

'C:\\May_2014_Parcels' + "\\" + filename + "\\" + subfilename + "\\parcels\\polygon"

should do the trick for accessing the polygon records, likewise if you want just the lines then:

'C:\\May_2014_Parcels' + "\\" + filename + "\\" + subfilename + "\\parcels\\arc"

would do it. Note arc feature type is a polyline, not actually an arc!

note do not copy coverages with windows explorer unless you are copying the whole workspace, doing so will render them utterly useless. If you cannot 'see' inside the coverages in ArcCatalog like this:

Inside a coverage

then it is already broken!

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+1 I was thinking that the Coverage tools (and an Advanced license) were needed to convert coverage format data. – PolyGeo May 29 '14 at 22:13
It mostly worked, and I am using just the basic ArcView license. – Ryan Bertram May 29 '14 at 22:23
It used to be that way, but now that coverages are going the way of the Dodo reading a coverage is fine in Basic (ArcView). Creating a coverage still takes an Advanced (INFO) license I think. – Michael Miles-Stimson May 29 '14 at 22:26
That's true. All I am doing is converting about 1800 coverage files that a local county government has been using for quite some time. – Ryan Bertram May 29 '14 at 22:35

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