Is it possible to open a Personal Geodatabase file in software other than ArcGIS?

i.e are there any open source software available just for viewing the data?


It can be viewed in Quantum GIS, a popular open source desktop gis application.

Choose Layer > Add Vector Layer and select Personal Geodatabase from File Types.

It will display all feature classes. But advanced ESRI features like Network and Topology will not be visible.

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You can open a PGDB in Microsoft Access if you have it as it's just an access database.

If you need opensource then you could use OpenOffice

  • 2
    Note that this will allow you to view the tabular data, but you will not be able to see the feature geometries.
    – user3461
    Aug 28 '12 at 11:10
  • 2
    You should also be careful to keep a backup of your personal geodatabase before doing this. While Access is a great way to peek into the database, and even make changes, you can easily kill your database if you edit the wrong table Aug 29 '12 at 1:40

The free TatukGIS viewer will open ESRI personal geodatabases. It is not open source.

  • Thanks. Seems perfect for the times I just need to quickly view a file.
    – user3461
    Aug 29 '12 at 0:28

As a side note, as you mentioned just being able to view the files only. You could try exporting to a layer package file.


The layer package derived from personal databases or layers contained therein, can be viewed in free software like ArcGIS Explorer (http://www.esri.com/software/arcgis/explorer-desktop/download).

This is useful if people need to view files, but do not have access to an ArcGIS Licence.

I don't know if that is exactly what you needed. But, hopefully the information is useful.

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