I am searching for a more in depth explanation of the differences in shp and shx files to little avail. I mean beyond the 'shp contain geometry - shx contains an index of the geometry'.
The reason I ask, is because while working in QGIS recently, I have made two observations that led to questions in my mind around the exact differences in these file extentions:
- QGIS can open and display both shx and shp, and each file appears to be more or less identical in their output (display),
- but not exactly so - I have noticed that sometimes the matching shx/shp files display slightly 'off-kilter' relative to each other. It doesn't appear to be a projection issue, they simply don't draw in the exact same location as each other.
These observations made me curious as to why these differences in display exist, and why QGIS can open and operate the shx in the same manner as the shp, when previously my understanding was that the shp is the 'master' file if you will, but requires .dbf and .shx to function correctly as a single, whole entity.