I have been provided a set of shapefiles (a couple of thousand). I don't own any GIS software but I would like to convert the shapes to KML and Google's encoded polyline.

I have put the shapefile and associated files online here in a zip file http://www.goo.gl/T5yu6r

However, there appears to be a problem with the original .shp file and I wonder if anyone can confirm it or provide a solution.

When I view it using shp2kml (http://www.zonums.com/shp2kml.html), I can see a GPS trace, but there are no Lat or Lon values (which I do see if I load up a file known to work).

Consequently, the resultant KML file does not work on Google Maps (and confirmed with KML verifiers to contain errors)

I have tried to both view and convert it at Geocommons also, but it does not work. So, I suspect that the original .shp file is missing some data. How can I resolve this problem?

  • I would prefer not to download your zip file so instead could you edit your question to show that you have more than just *.shp files, please? For example, a shapefile called Roads needs to have at minimum a Roads.shp, Roads.shx and Roads.dbf. – PolyGeo Oct 6 '13 at 0:52
  • @PolyGeo, he has only those three. I just opened it in ArcMap. – Paul Oct 6 '13 at 0:54
  • Can you give us a hint where the sample data is located on the globe? – AndreJ Oct 6 '13 at 5:13
  • I assume that it is NAD83, because the data set is for Costa Rica... – AliG1000 Oct 7 '13 at 4:21

Well, you are only given the bare minimum files for shapefiles (see post here). You are missing the .prj file, which is used to define which projection your data is in.

Now, a .prj file is simply a text file containing the well-known text representation for a particular coordinate system. If you know which coordinate system your data should be in, you can easily create this file with a text editor.

You can use spatialreference to obtain the WKT value that will work for your shapefile. The link goes to WGS84, which might be for what you are looking.

  • 1
    WGS84 is definitely wrong, with the layer extent being xMin,yMin 527511.00;213358.00 : xMax,yMax 529081.00;216098.00 – AndreJ Oct 6 '13 at 5:12
  • Thank you both! Without having access to the .prj files (they were never provided) can I simply create one using Notepad? If it is no WGS84, what would it be? – AliG1000 Oct 6 '13 at 20:47
  • I assume that it is NAD83, because the data set is for Costa Rica... – AliG1000 Oct 6 '13 at 21:13

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