I've recently got hold of almost 20 years old IDRISI .vec files which I'd like to convert to ESRI shapefile. I've been struggling to find any translator for this file format so far. Does anybody know of a way to convert this type of file? Any help much appreciated!

I'm going to post cross post on the http://forums.arcgis.com/


2 Answers 2


In Idrisi (Kilimanjaro, Andes, Taiga or Selva versions) look for function "Idrisi file convertion 16/32" in FILE menu.

This convert your old vector file format (.vec) to new version format (.vct). Then in idrisi export to SHAPEFILE. or open your new idrisi vector file in ARCGIS, then convert to CAD.

Method 2 Other method (i am not sure for all), but try to rename .vec for .vct, then read in idrisi for rebuild .dvc file

Method 3 If your data vector file .vec is in ASCII format, ( read the file in NOTEPAD or ULTRAEDIT) it easy convert to ArcInfo GENERATE file, then read in many software, both format are very similary


SuperMap can convert Idrisi .vec to shapefiles.

Look at the the table called "Table 3 Supported Dataset Types When Exporting Them into Outside Vector Data Formats."

SuperMap Deskpro Professional and All-in-one Desktop GIS is required.

A 60 Day Trial license is available.

  • Many thanks for your response. I am in the process of installing the software. In the meantime, another issue came out, which is related to the actual dataset's format. IDRISI .vec dataset hasn't got any .dvc file associated with it so it is pretty much unusable. I've found another software which reads this format called Cartalinx, but it didn't read it. As my dataset is not complete, I suspect that SuperMap won't read it either... I tried searching for a .dvc file on the web but as this is quite old format, I couldn't find much. I will post an update if I resolve this.
    – Magda
    Commented Mar 23, 2012 at 14:41

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