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I am extremely new to GIS and I just received a shapefile, as a zip file that includes the following files:

filename.SHX
filename.SHP
filename.prj
filename.dbf
filename.cpg

but I am not sure how I would display this data.

Is there anything else needed?

I just installed QGIS on a Debian box, but I guess it won't run, because it's just CLI, with no display environment.

  • I install xorg-dev on Ubuntu, then ensure my ssh client enables X-forwarding, then qgis will start. I don't use Debian but it will have a similar way. – mdsumner Nov 26 '14 at 19:48
  • i just installed the xorg-dev, but when i try to run qgis i get the following error: QGIS starting in non-interactive mode not supported. You are seeing this message most likely because you have no DISPLAY environment variable set. – Brad Hazelnut Nov 26 '14 at 20:16
  • Sorry I gave you bad infro, got reader an dexplorer mixed up esri.com/software/arcgis/explorer-desktop use qgis You need explorer – If you do not know- just GIS Nov 26 '14 at 21:13
  • Does your ssh client allow X-forwarding? It's the -X argument to ssh, or some setting on the interface, or as it states the configuration of your client DISPLAY. – mdsumner Nov 26 '14 at 21:45
  • I think this question would be better focussed on "How to get QGIS running under Debian?" because until you have that or some other GIS software running that can display shapefiles the shapefiles will be of no use to you. – PolyGeo Nov 27 '14 at 9:47
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Yes this is a standard GIS shapefile. A shapefile is a bit of a misnomer as it contains between 3 and up to 10 parts. You have all the correct parts.

You can install QGIS on ubuntu easy enough https://www.qgis.org/en/site/forusers/alldownloads.html

It works on linux or windows, once installed you need to add a vector layer..

Use the this to add your data screenshot

To just view the data Explorer is an alternate and works on windows

  • 2
    You can even drag and drop the .shp file (not the others) into the Layers field (at least on Windows). – AndreJ Nov 26 '14 at 20:05
  • @AndreJ. Ooh, cool, didn't know that one. Drag n Drop works on Ubuntu with QGIS 2.6 also, I can confirm. – John Powell Nov 26 '14 at 20:12
  • ArcReader works on Linux. Yee gads, what blasphemy is this. – John Powell Nov 26 '14 at 20:16
  • ok once i have this loaded, what i am ultimately trying to do is display this in a php page, i'm not sure if its even possible to do that, since this seems to be like a desktop app, and not sure if i can make it displayable on the web – Brad Hazelnut Nov 26 '14 at 20:21
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    I screwed up I listed reader but meant explorer answer updated, just use qgis – If you do not know- just GIS Nov 26 '14 at 21:15

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