There are many types of GIS data formats. Shapefiles are one of the popular ones.
Several format options are described below.
- Shapefiles (SHP) – This is probably the most common data format, and almost any GIS-enabled software can read a shapefile. A SHP typically consists of four file types, and sometimes more. Each file is needed as they all do something different. The file types include:
- .SHP – Contains the geometry.
- .DBF – Contains the attribute data for the features of the shapefile. Can be opened and edited in Excel.
- .SHX – Spatial Index file for finding features within the SHP.
- .PRJ – The projection file. Contains the coordinate system and projection for the data.
- File GeoDatabase – Collection of files in a folder that can store, query, and manage spatial data.
- KML – You’ve probably been using this for years. KML is the Google Earth default file format. Many software programs, including Civil 3D, can export to KML.
- Tab File – Very similar to SHP, and used by MapInfo.
- GeoTIFF – Most widely supported raster data format and is typically georeferenced (contains metadata) so that data imports property.
- CSV – Yes, CSV is a GIS option and can be used/edited easily across all CAD platform products.
|GIS – Geographic Information System|