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We have been happily using the 2010 Census Demographic Profile data in Shapefile format for some time. We now want to start using the ACS 5-year Estimates Data Profiles which, sadly, are only available in Geodatabase formats.

What's the best solution?

Do I bite the bullet and buy some version of ArcGIS, are there any services that can convert the files for me or is there some conversion program I can purchase?

Note that I am not a GIS specialist. I've learned enough to do what I want with the 2010 Census demographic shapefiles, but this is not the main focus of my website.

I seek recommendations and advice.

closed as too broad by PolyGeo Oct 15 at 12:55

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    Which software are you using so far? – underdark Mar 28 '14 at 17:57
  • Is this data in File Geodatabase (.gdb) or Personal Geodatabase (.mdb) format? – PolyGeo Mar 28 '14 at 21:55
  • If your data is in file geodatabase format, you might try GDB Flee to convert it. – Chad Cooper Mar 29 '14 at 11:58
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I would consider two options:

  1. Get ArcGIS Explorer. It is a lightweight ESRI GIS Viewer and offered for free. Since it is by ESRI, you will get file geodatabase support. I don't have much experience with it, but it should offer the ability to export the data in another format.http://www.esri.com/software/arcgis/explorer

  2. Get QGIS, an open source and powerful product and install an add-on for .gdb support. Here is the article: File Geodatabase (*.gdb) support in QGIS?

ArcGIS Explorer might be the easiest and offer the best support for .gdb... since it is an ESRI technology.

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    Can anybody confirm that Explorer lets you export data to a different format? – underdark Mar 29 '14 at 11:54

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