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What can I do with XML and SHP files?

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08-15-2023 02:19 AM
HarryRandell
New Contributor

Hi all. I am new to esri and ArcGIS, having only played around in QGIS a few times. I've just been sent two files: .xml and .shp, and I need to open them and view the data within. The data I need is the geometry and attributes in a csv.

1. Can this be done in QGIS?

2. Can this be done with only these two file types, or do I need more data?

 

Any help would be greatly appreciated!

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MobiusSnake
MVP

You need more files.  At a minimum a shapefile should consist of three files:

  • .shp file:  The geometries
  • .shx file:  An index for looking up geometries
  • .dbf file:  Attributes in DBase format

The XML might be metadata (is it named "myFile.shp.xml"?  If so it's metadata), but it could be something else too, it's hard to say.  ArcGIS has what are called "XML Workspace Documents" which are XML files that define schema and may also contain geometries and attribution, it could be one of those, or it could also be something else entirely, impossible to say without seeing the file.

Edit to add - A shapefile usually has a .prj file as well, this defines its coordinate system.  Without a prj file you can view the records but there may be no way to know where they are in the real world.

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6 Replies
MobiusSnake
MVP

You need more files.  At a minimum a shapefile should consist of three files:

  • .shp file:  The geometries
  • .shx file:  An index for looking up geometries
  • .dbf file:  Attributes in DBase format

The XML might be metadata (is it named "myFile.shp.xml"?  If so it's metadata), but it could be something else too, it's hard to say.  ArcGIS has what are called "XML Workspace Documents" which are XML files that define schema and may also contain geometries and attribution, it could be one of those, or it could also be something else entirely, impossible to say without seeing the file.

Edit to add - A shapefile usually has a .prj file as well, this defines its coordinate system.  Without a prj file you can view the records but there may be no way to know where they are in the real world.

NeilQuiddington
New Contributor

I'm new to this too. I have some .shp, .shx, .dbf, prj files and I need to import them into the software to view the files. Can someone tell me.

1. What esi package I need for this

2. Can I export these maps in a vector format through the software? eg pdf or .ai??

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BernSzukalski
Esri Frequent Contributor

Sounds like you have shapefile components. Zip the ones that belong together and using New Item you drag and drop the zip file onto the New item pane. You'll be prompted to answer a couple of configuration question, at the end you will be publishing a hosted feature layer. That hosted feature layer can be exported to a variety of other formats.

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NeilQuiddington
New Contributor

Thanks Bern for your prompt response, so it sounds like I can export them which is good news. I haven't yet subscribed, can you advise which package I'll need to view these files and export them as vector files? Is it ArcGIS online?

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MobiusSnake
MVP

I think ArcGIS Earth (Windows desktop version) may be a good solution for you.

It's free, doesn't require any kind of account (although you can do more with an account) it allows you to load a shapefile onto a globe, set the symbols, change the basemap, and export to a PDF.

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BernSzukalski
Esri Frequent Contributor

Sorry, I assumed that you already have an ArcGIS account and have access to ArcGIS Online or perhaps Enterprise.

You can't do this with a free, public subscription so you would need an organizational subscription.

https://www.esri.com/en-us/arcgis/products/arcgis-online/buy?rmedium=esri_com_regex&rsource=arcgis-o...

If you are going to continue using GIS an an ArcGIS Online subscription would be a great place to start and a good investment. If all you need to do is export shapefiles to other formats, there are some free utilities you might discover via web search that might help. A free Esri option is ArcGIS Earth, it can injest that shapefile (and other formats) and you can export to KMZ, and there are other free online utilities you can use to convert that to other formats.

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