Why do number field datatypes change to text/string in downloads from Open Data Portal?

09-15-2016 01:58 PM
Occasional Contributor II

I've noticed that all number field datatypes (except for ObjectID) are converted to string datatypes in the Shapefile downloads from Open Data Portal.

For example, in the Open Data Portal for Washinton DC Parks, you can see there is a field named "Benches" with a Number datatype:

Open Data Number Datatype

However, once you download the Shapefile, the datatype is converted to String:

Downloaded from Open Data now String Datatype

This creates a hassle for people consuming this data if they want to symbolize based on numeric fields, because they have to convert the data in their GIS before they can symbolize using numeric data.

Is this by design (if so, why?) or a oversite/bug?

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New Contributor II

I also noticed dates become text fields and all text fields are 80 characters. Is there a way to preserve the field types (and length) from the source, as export to shapefile would do?