[Qgis-developer] MXD

George Silva georger.silva at gmail.com
Thu Jan 27 21:05:42 EST 2011

The Mxd format is more complex then just filenames. As mentioned, there are
styling issues, graphics, projections and custom objects stored to it.

ArcGIS uses a variety of Properties (Key Value pairs) and saves them to each
MXD also. Custom extensions, labelling, ah, my head is hurting already.

I'm not sure if this is such an easy task.

I can provide some MXDs for analysis, just let me know.

On Thu, Jan 27, 2011 at 2:09 PM, Barry Rowlingson <
b.rowlingson at lancaster.ac.uk> wrote:

> On Thu, Jan 27, 2011 at 1:56 PM, Stephan Holl
> <stephan.holl at intevation.de> wrote:
> > I would love to read more about Barries reverse engeneerings of the
> > 'obfuscated' format.
>  All I've discovered at the moment is that if you dump it using
> "strings -e l foo.mxd" on a Linux box you can actually see the file
> names of shapefiles and geotiffs - they're stored as UTF-16 strings.
> But being able to locate where in the whole mush of strings that whizz
> past so you could automatically strip them out is another problem.
>  If I actually had this problem on a one-off, say someone gave me a
> MXD with two layers and the accompanying shapefiles, I'd probably just
> do it manually - start Qgis, load two layers. With a hundred layers
> I'd probably get the filenames and make a Qgis project file
> programmatically. But given that extracting anything other than the
> layer file names and ordering (styling, for example) is just about
> impossible I'd probably do it from the filenames rather than the MXD
> itself. But anyway, for me the break-even point for automating this is
> about 20 layers, and that might only happen once in my lifetime...
> Barry
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George R. C. Silva

Desenvolvimento em GIS
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