My issue:
I'm trying to open .ply and .lin files in QGIS but they do not appear to be supported, (although this might also have to do with the fact that there are actual issues with my data - see below).

My question:
How can I convert the .ply and .lin files to something/anything that QGIS can read?

Here are my troubleshooting steps so far:

First of all, here are a few descriptions of the file types:

PLY File Format - Description 1

PLY File Format - Description 2

PLY files can be in ASCII or BINARY form. I believe mine are in ASCII form, according to the README text document that came with the datasets.

One major place I'm running into trouble is that:
Apparently PLY and LIN files require a header, but my data does not appear to contain headers, per both me not seeing any headers when viewing the data in Atom and an "unable to locate headers" error I received when trying to open the files in MeshLab, (open source software that allows viewing and converting of PLY files).

Similar SE Question:
I've also seen this question regarding converting .ply to .las, but the solution seems a bit convoluted for my purposes, and without any headers I don't think anything is going to be able to read my files at this point anyway.

Next steps / new question:
When I view the files in Atom, I can see all of the attributes. I can actually add the headers listed in the README text doc, adding them to the PLY and LIN files in Atom, and then I can save them out as CSVs, which I can then open and view in Excel. What I see in the PLY file is all of the attributes of each feature. What I see in the LIN file is all of the geometry (lat/longs). Both files do have unique IDs that can be used to join up both of these files.

However, since these are polygons, and not points, it's not an easy enough join with each record having only 1 pair of lat/longs. Some records have a handful of lat/long pairs, and some have over a dozen. In many cases one feature has multiple rows of lat/long pairs, which I'm interpreting as multi-part features.

So I have all of these data, but I can't figure out a way to manually convert these CSVs into some kind of spatial format. The problem is I have all of the data I need, I just don't know how to make it spatial.

Snapshot of PLY csv:
enter image description here

Snapshot of LIN csv:
enter image description here

  • 2
    what .ply and .lin file are supposed to be ? where did they come from ? without more detail it's hard to answer
    – J.R
    May 6, 2020 at 16:15
  • 1
    @J.R I added clarification to the question. Also, why has it been closed? I see a ton of questions like these on here. What is the point of this forum then? I cannot give any more details about the work as it's confidential. I think it's a simple question - how to convert one geospatial format to another... what is the problem?
    – Kristen G.
    May 6, 2020 at 16:23
  • @J.R How is this question any different from this question, which received a helpful answer: gis.stackexchange.com/questions/314732/…
    – Kristen G.
    May 6, 2020 at 16:29
  • I asked for clarification because some extension could refer to several different thing (some software will use custom extension on what is in fact simple txt or xml file while the same extension could be used by different proprietary format from different software) so knowing witch software output these file or at least what should be inside really help to give meaningful answer.
    – J.R
    May 6, 2020 at 22:07
  • That being said your question is totally legitimate and a question could be reopened (and often is) after clarification and this one will probably be reopened soon (I voted to close before your edit). As a side note you should update your question with the one you refer in your second comment and explain why it didn't help you (if yours is not any different it risk to be closed again as duplicate...;-))
    – J.R
    May 6, 2020 at 22:12


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