I want to create and edit shapefiles for my application.

Is there a free shapefile editor?

2 Answers 2


There are lots of free GIS tools available. One of the imho best is QuantumGIS: http://www.qgis.org. It is available for win/mac and linux.

But maybe you prefer openjump a tool written in java, which has special strengths in editing, topology-checking: http://www.openjump.org/

Also take a look at: http://freegis.org/


Also, if you do not mind some scripting in Python, there is Shapefile module for this.

Small example, create .shp with point features from coords in .xls:

import xlrd
import shapefile

Path = "c:/"
f = "Excel_w_coords.xls"

# Open Excel workbook
wb = xlrd.open_workbook(Path + f)

# List all sheets in Excel
list = wb.sheet_names()

for i in list:
        sh = wb.sheet_by_name(i)
        # Make a point shapefile
        w = shapefile.Writer(shapefile.POINT)
        for rownum in range(sh.nrows):
            RowList = sh.row_values(rownum)
            ID = RowList[0]
            x = RowList[2]
            y = RowList[1]
            z = RowList[3]
        w.save('C:/' + i)
# clean up
del f, Path, wb, list

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