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Why Koordinates supports many (many) different file formats

Koordinates supports a wide range of formats beyond GIS, including DWG, CSV, KML, and geospatial PDF.

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Posted by Hamish Campbell
September 18th, 2019

Shapefile

If you’re not on Twitter — or if you don’t happen to follow accounts of anthropomorphised geospatial file formats — you might not know about the @Shapefile account. This account provides the unfiltered thoughts of the Shapefile, and usually comprises jokes about the frustrating pervasiveness of the format itself. 

“I'll be here forever,” the Shapefile account description reads. 

The frustration being expressed through the account is that the Shapefile — a single file format used in GIS software — is too often considered synonymous with geospatial data writ large. 

The implicit point of the account is that the potential of geospatial data is much, much wider than a single geospatial format. It’s even much wider than geospatial formats as such. It’s much wider than GIS. 

This point is fundamental to the work we do here at Koordinates. And it’s the reason we’ve gone to some lengths to support additional, non-GIS file formats. In our experience, translating data into more formats — and more access channels, including APIs and web services — means that we are able to serve more data to more users.

As an aside, this is also why we’re such keen supporters of open standards (we support OGC-compliant WFS, WMTS, and CSW web services, as well a range of open formats). It's also why we sponsored the December 2017 Open Geospatial Consortium meeting in New Zealand. 

So, what file formats does Koordinates support? It’s a long list, but here goes:

File formats supported for import: 

  • Shapefile (.SHP)
  • MapInfo TAB (.TAB)
  • Esri File Geodatabase
  • GeoPackage / SQLite
  • GeoJSON
  • CSV
  • XLS, XLSX (Excel Spreadsheet) and ODS (OpenDocument Spreadsheet)
  • Esri Coverage
  • GeoJPEG
  • GeoTIFF, TIFF with world files (.TFW)
  • JPEG2000
  • Gridded Raster
  • ESRI Binary Grid
  • ESRI ASCII Grid

Read more about supported import file formats at Koordinates Help.

File formats supported for export: 

  • Shapefile (.SHP) (.DBF for tabular data)
  • MapInfo TAB (.TAB)
  • MapInfo TAB for Images/Rasters (.TAB)
  • Esri File Geodatabase (FGDB)
  • GeoPackage / SQLite
  • GeoJPEG
  • GeoTIFF
  • JPEG2000
  • KEA
  • Esri ASCII Grid
  • DWG with linked JPEG's for images/rasters
  • Google Earth KML
  • CSV and GeoCSV
  • Geospatial PDF

Read more about supported export file formats at Koordinates Help

While the list above is long, it’s obviously incomplete. There are a range of other formats we want to support, with the aim — as always — of bringing geospatial data to more users.