[postgis-users] Shapefiles exported from PostGIS and ESRI ArcView 9 compatibility

David Fawcett david.fawcett at gmail.com
Thu Jul 21 07:19:25 PDT 2011

As George points out, there is a published spec.

I build shapefiles using tools based on OGR (and pgsql2shp) often and
they work fine with ArcGIS products.

On thing to note.  The spatial and attribute index file specifications
are not public.  So, the client may want to build these index files
once they receive the data.  Without them, you have a complete and
fully functioning shapefile, but people will often want to add these
indexes to increase performance.


On Thu, Jul 21, 2011 at 6:53 AM, George Rodrigues da Cunha Silva
<georger.silva at gmail.com> wrote:
> Em quinta-feira, 21 de julho de 2011 08:15:43, MarkW escreveu:
>> Do the shptree and related shapefile utilities that come with the osgeo
>> installs apply here? I've only used them in association with MapServer, so I
>> don't know if shptree's indexes are usable by ESRI software.
>> Mark
>> On Thu, Jul 21, 2011 at 3:23 AM, Ben Madin <lists at remoteinformation.com.au
>> <mailto:lists at remoteinformation.com.au>> wrote:
>>    G'dat all,
>>    We have a client (potential client) who wants some mapping done and
>>    the maps returned in shapefile format. In the contract they insist
>>    on specifying that the shapefiles are compatible with "ESRI's
>>    ArcView version 9" (their words, not mine).
>>    I don't have "ESRI's ArcView version 9", and don't intend on
>>    spending that sort of money (more than the contract is worth).
>>    However, I'm sure that if what we send back doesn't open in "ESRI's
>>    ArcView version 9" it will become our problem.
>>    Do
> es anyone have any reason to suspect that a shapefile created
>>    using valid OGC geometry in PostGIS and exported using pgsql2shp
>>    would not or might not work on "ESRI's ArcView version 9"?
>>    Are there any issues that someone who is across platforms can help
>>    me with?
>>    (I routinely use shapefiles created using valid OGC geometry in
>>    PostGIS and exported using pgsql2shp in QGIS and MapServer and send
>>    them to other people, so I have no reason to be concerned except
>>    that the client insists on this line remaining the contract!)
>>    cheers
>>    Ben
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> There is an open specification of the shapefile format
> http://www.esri.com/library/whitepapers/pdfs/shapefile.pdf
> Shape is still the 'de facto' format for exchanging GIS data. I can't think
> of anything else right now.
> Regarding compatibility, they are compatible AFAIK. Never had an issue.
> George
> --
> --------------------------------
> George Rodrigues da Cunha Silva
> Desenvolvedor GIS
> http://geoprocessamento.net
> http://blog.geoprocessamento.net
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