I've recently run into data in "ESRI XML Workspace Format," I have never run into this format before, and can't find any reference to using it with FOSS tools, or any documentation on the format the geometry is stored in.

My goal is to read this data with python so i can processes it with Shapely, but i'm open to any FOSS solution for reading it.


  • QGIS
  • A python library

I am not interested in any solution using ArcPY.

Here is a sample of one of the records from the file.

<Record xsi:type='esri:Record'>
    <Values xsi:type='esri:ArrayOfValue'>
        <Value xsi:type='xs:int'>830</Value>
        <Value xsi:type='xs:string'>Bankhead Jones</Value>
        <Value xsi:type='xs:string'>Bureau of Land Management</Value>
        <Value xsi:type='xs:int'>2</Value><Value xsi:type='xs:short'>2</Value>
        <Value xsi:type='esri:PolygonB'>
        <Value xsi:type='xs:string'>{9E4D50CD-773F-426A-9D85-ACEB53A6651E}</Value>
        <Value xsi:type='xs:string'>BFAHRER</Value>
        <Value xsi:type='xs:dateTime'>2015-06-23T20:07:05</Value>
        <Value xsi:type='xs:string'>BFAHRER</Value>
        <Value xsi:type='xs:dateTime'>2015-06-23T20:07:05</Value>
        <Value xsi:type='xs:double'>0.00059271317454369463</Value>
        <Value xsi:type='xs:double'>0.12326579683440851</Value>

The data I am trying to read is from http://www.blm.gov/wy/st/en/resources/public_room/gis/datagis/state/state-own.html

  • This is to be imported into a file geodatabase, which I don't know is a capability of any FOSS tool, including the ESRI File Geodatabase libraries for GDAL/QGIS... if you're stuck I can create a file geodatabase and convert to shapefile or other and send it via dropbox... unless you have to do this a lot, then you should get an 'arcgis for home' version... Sep 14, 2016 at 14:58
  • @DPSSpatial That would be great if you could convert that to a file geodatabase for me. I dont currently have a windows machine, so setting up arcgis requires a bunch of additional steps. This data is going into a project im working on to create a nationwide dataset of public lands(more on that at github.com/OpenBounds/PublicLands ) and out of ~250 sources from various government sources this is the first i've run into that i cant totally handle with FOSS tools. Sep 14, 2016 at 17:01

1 Answer 1


For the geometry encoding, see

I don't see any reference to the esri:polygonb tag, but to my eyes this looks like very like Base64. (One or two Equals signs at the end would confirm this, but aren't guaranteed to be there - like in your example)

If it is base64, it would be possible to parse the XML in Python and write it to a postgres database, but not sure how much effort would be involved.


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