We've got some data (supposedly it's a simple collection of points--or at least that is all we need to extract) from a 3rd party in a GDB folder (I don't know how to tell what version) but we don't have an ESRI Arc* product. We are not primarily a GIS company, and our tools basically support only shapefiles. How can we convert the GDB to shapefiles?

Note: I tried following the instructions to get GDB support in QGIS (after uninstalling QGIS and re-installing via osgeo4w-setup) but it didn't work; QGIS still says "Xyz.GDB is not a valid or recognized data source".

  • 4
    – blah238
    Commented Jan 28, 2013 at 23:30
  • You should be able to view the fgdb in the free ArcGIS Explorer. There is no export option.
    – klewis
    Commented Jan 29, 2013 at 1:39
  • Do you try FME Desktop ?
    – user3120
    Commented Feb 13, 2013 at 15:40
  • @blah238 where is the download link on that page I can't find it Commented Jan 31, 2014 at 23:28
  • @boulder_ruby the page I linked is not for a download, it is documentation for the File Geodatabase API driver for OGR, which is part of the GDAL library: gdal.org/ogr
    – blah238
    Commented Jan 31, 2014 at 23:43

2 Answers 2


If the FileGDB driver for GDAL/OGR didn't work (and that's what I suspect from your question), then unfortunately I suspect that the GDB format is <10.0 and locked from the open source world.

Esri software is required to open old GDB files. Even Safe's FME requires ArcObjects.

If you can, ask the data provider to provide an unrestricted file format, otherwise you need to find someone with an ArcGIS license to help you out.


You can use QGIS 3.x to add layers. Then Use GDAL---Convert format to covert layers into shapefiles.

  • 2
    Please add more text, code, links for help. Commented Mar 27, 2019 at 15:50

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