Recently, I started dealing with Overlay files (*.ovl files) and my focus is to read the data from OVL files and display them.

Could you please anyone guide me what are these files and what is the best way to read the content both via product and via programmings (pointers to any knowledge base is very appreciated).

Please let me know if further information is needed.

  • I have provided an Answer (hopefully useful) to the first two questions I spotted in your Question but I think you should research/ask separately the third one about how to read *.ovl files programmatically. – PolyGeo Nov 25 '13 at 6:43

The Geogrid viewer and the Software that is designed for using .ovl can read both binary (new OVL) and ASCII (old OVL) format, but GPSBABEL only can read the ASCII one.

The format is copyrighted by EADS, so you will have little chance to get it read without using their software.

I heard that TTQV can read the binary format too, but I guess they have paid to implement that.


I just searched for this using Google and it looks like *.ovl files may be Geogrid-viewer ascii overlay files that can be read by GPSBabel.

  • Thank you for the quick reply. As per my preliminary study goes, there can be OVL data both in ASCII and Binary format. I believe, Geogrid-viewer can only read ASCII OVL files. But, in my case, I have whole bunch of binary OVL files and i need to import/read them programmatically and display them in any means. Hope, this information is helpful. :) – Kumar Nov 25 '13 at 7:08
  • Would you able to revise your question with this additional information by using the edit button beneath it, please? That way it can continue to stand alone rather than requiring readers to also read multiple comments. – PolyGeo Nov 25 '13 at 7:29

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