[Qgis-developer] MXD

Stephan Holl stephan.holl at intevation.de
Thu Jan 27 08:56:42 EST 2011

Hello Barry, Jude,

Barry Rowlingson <b.rowlingson at lancaster.ac.uk>, [20110127 - 09:06:28]

> On Thu, Jan 27, 2011 at 7:52 AM, Noli Sicad <nsicad at gmail.com> wrote:
> > No. There is no way you can convert ArcGIS project file (*.mxd) to
> > QGIS with or without ArcPy.

Interesting question.

> >
> > You just have to add vector layers in QGIS project.
> Looks like a proprietary binary format:

yes, it is.

> http://viswaug.wordpress.com/2009/07/18/deployment-hassles-with-the-black-box-mxd-file-format/
> If you have ESRI products then it might be possible to write a simple
> Qgis project file containing the layers for all OGR and GDAL layers
> (not ESRI geodatabases, of course) but that would require some Arc
> programming. WIthout ESRI products you are stuck unless someone can
> reverse-engineer the mxd file format, or if the paths to things like
> shapefiles and geoTiffs are stored in plain text within the file.
>  Could you do this:
>     Start ArcGIS, load one shapefile, save the MXD. Add another
> shapefile, save as a new MXD. Load a geoTiff. Save as a new MXD. Put
> those MXD files somewhere we can download them... I'd like to see how
> obfuscated this format really is.

We are currently in the phase and design/write an MXD-converter for at
least UMN MapServer Mapfiles. Transforming the result to QGIS
XML-format would then be some sort of finger exercise...

I would love to read more about Barries reverse engeneerings of the
'obfuscated' format.


Stephan Holl <stephan.holl at intevation.de> | Tel.: +49 (0)541-33 508 3663
Intevation GmbH, Neuer Graben 17, 49074 OS  |  AG Osnabrück - HR B 18998
Geschäftsführer:  Frank Koormann, Bernhard Reiter, Dr. Jan-Oliver Wagner
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