Converting between .GDB and .TAB - removing intrinsic fields

Discussion created by GJCRM1 on Jun 5, 2017



Before I begin I feel that I should outline some points:

   - I am using ArcMap 10.3;

   - I do not wish to purchase Data Interoperability;

   - I don't own a copy of MapInfo although I have previously used it - I don't particularly want to relive this experience;

   - I can convert between .gdb, .shp and .tab (or .mif) using OGR2OGR and/or QGIS;

   - I have tried to convert to .mif and then edit the attributes directly in a .csv file but this just corrupts the file.


My issue is that I have a client that uses MapInfo and they require data to be provided in .tab format. The data I provide must adhere to a very strict attribute table structure and metadata format. I personally work using file geodatabases in ArcMap.


The issues I am experiencing are as follows:


1) When I convert data from my .gdb to .tab or .mif using OGR2OGR it includes the intrinsic geodatabase fields (Object ID, Shape, Shape_Length and Shape_Area). I have tried to remove these from the .tab file using QGIS but, as there is data already in the table, I cannot edit the structure. I have also tried to convert to a .mif file and remove these columns by editing the .csv file but, as previously mentioned, this corrupts the file.  Finally, I have tried hiding the intrinsic fields and exporting .gdb file a to .shp and then converting this to a .tab, but the required table field headings are greater than the .shp file character limit so they become truncated which is not acceptable to my client.


2) There is a field that requires a data format (DD/MM/YYYY). When entered using ArcGIS this displays corretly, but during the conversion to .TAB this changes to include a time stamp (DD/MM/YYYY-Time). 


I have tried everything I can think of so far but without access to MapInfo it is like working in a black box as I cannot see the finalised data that is produced post-conversion. QGIS comes close but there still seems to be some small variations. Maybe somebody has another suggestion?


Any help is much appreciated.