I need a printable administration map of a country. I would like to use it in Corel Draw for some colour manipulations and poster printing. I have found the map on http://www.diva-gis.org/ but it is in shapefile format.

How can I convert it to any acceptable vector format like svg/cdr/eps/pdf?


You need to convert the Shapefile to DXF and then it can be read by Corel Draw

you can convert the shapefile to dxf using http://www.guthcad.com.au/arcv2cad.htm

Corel DESIGNER® Technical Suite X5 is the best option for DXF support



You may want to use GDAL, it is available for various platforms. If you are on Windows, OSGeo4W is your best bet. You will notice that it has a sub project called OGR that supports translating between various vector formats. The command line executable that you are looking for is ogr2ogr.

Some examples:

  • Convert counties.shp to KML

    ogr2ogr -f "KML" counties.kml counties.shp

  • Convert counties.shp to DXF

    ogr2ogr -f "DXF" counties.dxf counties.shp

If you want to rasterize them, GDAL also supports several image formats - including GeoPDF.

You get the picture.

Oh, and if you have ArcGIS, ArcMap can save to PDF (File->Save As), too.


I don't know what software you have available to you but there are a couple of options

  • Have you thought of using the software from the Diva site where you are getting the data? It's free. I've never used it, but the price point is certinaly nice.

  • Any GIS (Qgis, ESRI, Manifold, etc.) software should be able to use shp format and plot to some type of vector result.

  • Autocad will import shp as well and you could manipulate the vectors there as well.

I don't know your background, so apologies if I'm preatching to the choir... Note that the shp data is not a 'map' (as you stated in the OP) but rather a data file that when incorporated with other datasets can be part of an overall map layout/product.


As mentioned above the shapefile is just data. Assuming you have access to some sort of GIS software you can use the shapefile to create your map. From there all software suites I know of have the ability to export the map to a image format of choice.

QGIS is free software, where you can add your shapefile, create your map, and simply click File > Save As Image. Check it out here: http://www.qgis.org/

Let us know if we missed what you are going for.

  • 1
    Save as Image results in a raster file. SVG export is only available through print composer. – underdark Apr 28 '11 at 13:30

What Mapperz said. Export to .dxf format. Corel Draw will import this format:

File -----> Import and hit the drop down (see print screen below):

enter image description here

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