A vector data storage format for storing the location, shape, and attributes of geographic features. Often referred to as 'an ESRI shapefile', as ESRI developed it.

learn more… | top users | synonyms (1)

58
votes
19answers
44k views

How to convert between KML and Esri's shapefile (SHP) format?

My users are sending me point data that were digitized using GoogleEarth. How can I convert their KML to a shapefile?
47
votes
6answers
1k views

Are there any attempts to replace the shapefile?

Recently I've been spending a lot of time converting perfectly good field names like "Percent of citizens age 25 and over with a bachelor's degree or higher" into things like "edbchogtr" to meet the ...
36
votes
21answers
37k views

Are there any free administrative boundaries available as shapefiles?

After learning about the US Census's TIGERLines datasets I'm addicted to GIS :) I've working with the following layers, from the USA data Country boundaries State boundaries County boundaries City ...
29
votes
11answers
8k views

Identifying Coordinate System of Shapefile when Unknown?

I have a Shapefile but its coordinate system is Unknown, and there is no *.prj file. How I can identify it now? Are there any tools that could help?
29
votes
7answers
8k views

Whether to use File Geodatabase (*.gdb), Personal Geodatabase (*.mdb) or shapefiles?

I am a bit confused on the topic of geodatabases. Previously, I have used geodatabases as an easy way to keep all files together rather than having dozens of shapefiles all over the place. And it's ...
25
votes
4answers
11k views

Which character encoding is used by the DBF file in shapefiles?

Which character-encoding is used by the dbf-file in Shape-files? It seems it is handled different, based on the program and the local encoding-settings of the machine. Which encoding is 'right' - ...
24
votes
8answers
11k views

Open Source Tool capable of reading Esri File Geodatabase (.gdb)?

I have an ESRI File Geodatabase (.gdb) file that I would like to convert to shapefile (or any other non-proprietary format). Are there any Open Source tools to do so?
23
votes
10answers
36k views

How to convert MapInfo TAB and/or MIF to SHP using free tools or ArcGIS for Desktop core product?

How do I convert MapInfo TAB and/or MIF files to SHP using only free tools or ArcGIS itself? I've not had much luck trying to do this in the past and I don't want to have to shell out for the ArcGIS ...
22
votes
6answers
984 views

“Oddities” in the Shapefile technical specification

I've been writing a shapefile parsing library, and have encountered a couple of design decisions in the specification that I don't immediately understand. I'm hoping there's a wizened old ESRI ...
21
votes
4answers
3k views

Bulk load multiple shapefiles into PostGIS

I've got over a hundred data layers in shapefile format that I want to upload into a PostGIS database. They are all in the same projection, but represent different data layers so they do not have the ...
20
votes
3answers
4k views

Simple thematic mapping of shapefile using Python?

I wish to visualize geographical data in Python, without using ArcGIS/ArcPy, and make a map. On the internet I found how to make a thematic map using Python: Here is some code that I tried: ...
20
votes
5answers
1k views

What are advantages of using spatialite over shapefile?

I found spatialite more useful than shapefiles as it does not have the limitations of shapefile and it is also portable. Many people here use shapefiles to exchange data and even the experts do not ...
20
votes
4answers
4k views

How to bypass 10 character limit of field name in ShapeFiles?

I'm exporting geometry with attached text attributes from oracle database to esri shapefile format (.shp) with Java and Geotools library. Attribute columns in our database have names with more than ...
20
votes
2answers
3k views

Python Efficiency — Need suggestions about how to use OGR and Shapely in more efficient way

I'm looking for some suggestions about how to make my python code more efficient. Normally efficiency doesn't matter for me but I am now working with a text file of US locations with over 1.5 million ...
20
votes
2answers
19k views

How to calculate polygon areas in QGIS?

Hi I would like to simply calculate areas of a area-shape file in square meters or in acres (ha). I didn't find that functionality in the vector tools. Could anyone here help me with that?
19
votes
2answers
6k views

How to convert .shp into .gpx using QGIS?

I'm newbie using QGIS. I would like to convert .shp into .gpx. So, using Qgis, I open my shapefile and I tried to "save as" gpx but it gives an OGR error: creation of field ObjectId failed (OGR ...
18
votes
6answers
7k views

How to convert image of map into vector format?

What is the best way of converting a gif of a map into a vector format, such as a shapefile? The only relevant parts that I am interested in are the outline of the island so I realize some manual ...
18
votes
3answers
3k views

How to easily edit attribute data using Regular Expressions?

I am writing a tutorial for MSc students that uses QGIS. One of the tasks requires the attribute data to be modified (see pdf draft of tutorial here if interested ). The question is how to get them ...
17
votes
12answers
11k views

Shapefiles to Text

How can I convert a shape file (GIS) to text? or, How can I extract the information in a shape file?
17
votes
10answers
16k views

Best way to add Attribute data to a shape file

Hei GISers!! Thanks for your help with my previous question. My apology if this may be too simple a question for this site, but I am still learning the various aspects of GIS. Now that I can ...
17
votes
9answers
7k views

How can I convert an excel file with x, y columns to a shapefile?

How can I convert an excel file with x, y columns to a point shapefile? There are some somewhat optional requirements in addition to the correct creation of a shapefile: Column types (as per ...
15
votes
4answers
11k views

How to open a Shapefile in R?

I need to open a shape file from ArcMap in R to use it for further geostatical analysis. I've converted it into ASCII text file, but in R it is recognized as data.frame. Coordinates function doesn't ...
14
votes
6answers
1k views

Creating simple image from vector data

Can anyone suggest a quick (and preferably open source) way to create an image from a shapefile. For example, I have a shapefile containing parcel boundaries, I want to create a png file depicting ...
14
votes
2answers
3k views

Using R to calculate the area of multiple polygons on a map that intersect with another overlaid polygon

I have a shapefile downloaded from the Ordnance Survey that gives electoral ward (division) boundaries for a county of the United Kingdom. I have successfully used R to load the shapefile and plotted ...
14
votes
4answers
6k views

How to add an attribute field to an existing Shapefile via Python

I have a Python script that adds an attribute field to a Shapefile if doesn't exist. This is easy to do with ArcGIS (graphically or via Python), but I'm looking for something that doesn't depend on ...
13
votes
5answers
401 views

What in-depth spatial database systems tutorials exist?

Is there a good tutorial that explains in depth the internals of a GIS and a spatial database system such as PostGIS with examples and without any background assumption? I'm specifically looking for ...
13
votes
4answers
1k views

Python module to delete SHP features (without Desktop GIS installed)

I have a piece of software (not Arc) that runs nightly on a non-production machine which updates shapefile features from an external database. Periodically I would like to delete all of the features ...
13
votes
7answers
3k views

Free tool to simplify parcel shapefiles?

Is there any tool available which let's me run millions of parcel shapefiles and simplify them?
13
votes
5answers
2k views

Does Re-Projecting an ESRI ShapeFile only update the content of the .prj file?

if i wish to change the projection of some shapefiles from .. lets say NAD83 (4269) to WGS84 (4326) ... and by using some 3rd party app .... does this mean the .prj file is only updated .. and not the ...
13
votes
6answers
2k views

How to improve rendering performance of very large shapefile?

I have a polygon shapefile that has a 100MB .dbf and 500MB .shp file component. The reason it is so large is it is a landbase classification for a whole district. Everytime I am viewing the file in ...
13
votes
4answers
283 views

Are long lines in shapefiles to be considered geodesics or straight lines in the 2D latlong space?

Is there a definition on how lines connect vertices in the shapefile format? In the simplest case, imagine a line with only 2 points, from 40,-118 to 40,-112 - that's somewhere random in the US - ...
12
votes
7answers
10k views

Where can I find Canadian postal code geometries?

Where can I find the shapefiles for Canadian postal codes?
12
votes
3answers
7k views

How to encode shapefiles from LATIN1 to UTF-8?

Is there a way to encode shapefiles from LATIN1 to UTF-8?
12
votes
1answer
377 views

The next big thing in standardized spatial data exchange format?

I remember reading something a few months back, in the latter half of 2012, about a coordinated group effort to design a new standard for sharing geographic / spatial data. It has or aims to have the ...
12
votes
3answers
912 views

Centralizing shapefile data into database

I've got hundreds of shapefiles from various different GIS projects that I want to start consolidating into a single database platform, currently attempting this with Postgres / PostGIS. Hardly any ...
12
votes
2answers
3k views

API documentation for Gdal/Ogr with C#

I want to assign projection to shapefile in my web C# application, for this i am using Gdal/OGR/OSR C# bindings and add osr_csharp.dll and ogr_csharp.dll references. But i am facing some difficulty ...
12
votes
3answers
2k views

How do you determine a shapefile's charset?

Is there a way to determine the charset used for a given shapefile?
12
votes
3answers
487 views

How can I represent distance using the dashes or markers of a vector line?

I am a very basic user and dont know the lingo to get to the gist of my question so some background might help. Ive volunteered to create a pre-incident planning system for my rural fire department. ...
12
votes
3answers
5k views

Free tool to convert .lpk to .shp file

I have a .lpk file from ESRI that I would like to convert to a shapefile. How can I do this, using only free software?
12
votes
2answers
5k views

ogr2ogr converting to shapefile - how to select feature types?

Shapefiles can only have one geometry type, but many other formats (kml, geojson) can have multiple types. When converting to shapefiles, is it possible to to tell ogr2ogr to create multiple ...
11
votes
1answer
522 views

How to rename field names in a shapefile from the commandline?

I need to rename the field names (attributes) in a shapefile. Is there an easy way to do this from the command line?
11
votes
2answers
1k views

Is there a public shapefile with the London Underground stations and lines?

Is there a public shapefile containing the stations and lines of the London Underground? I've been doing some intensive searching but I can only find the coordinates of the stations, or the lines in ...
11
votes
3answers
701 views

Which data format typically displays fastest in ArcMap?

My organization is working on an application running on ArcGIS Engine. Previous versions of the application used primarily Shapefiles for displaying roads, parcels, buildings, etc. Since I was ...
11
votes
2answers
473 views

How to clean such a bad shapefile for routing ?

I am trying to clean a shapefile to make it usable for routing with pgrouting, postgis, postgresql. Here an intersection, it seems to be connected but when we zoom …. It is not: Same here : ...
11
votes
0answers
249 views

How to query OSM for all beaches facing west? - QGIS preferred

I want to identify all beaches on this planet (or a given subset of it) that are facing westwards (+/- 20-30 degrees). My idea is to use OSM as the data source. Extracting all polygons that have the ...
10
votes
5answers
561 views

Database versus Files for Solo Developer

I'm just getting started in GIS and am interested in using it to create maps of mountain biking trails in my area and nearby. I've been learning QGIS and have made enough progress to generate a decent ...
10
votes
2answers
10k views

How do I add a shapefile in ArcGIS via Python?

I am trying to automate various tasks in ArcGIS Desktop (using ArcMap generally) with Python, and I keep needing a way to add a shape file to the current map. (And then do stuff to it, but that's ...
10
votes
4answers
1k views

How to reproject spatial data using free libraries?

How can I use free libraries to transform spatial data? For example, I want to change the projection of a Shapefile within the code of my C# web application. How do I do that?
10
votes
2answers
3k views

Point (of a linestring) within Polygon using ogr and Python

I'm currently working on a project in which I need to build a topological network out of the geometry features I find in shapefiles. So far using Ben Reilly's open source project I've managed to ...
10
votes
2answers
394 views

Is there an automatic function in QGIS to package all shapefiles in a project for transferability?

In my project, I use a lot of geodata from different directories. Now I want to give the QGIS project to a colleague (eg on a CD). Is it possible to copy the shapes from different directories ...