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Shapefile Concept

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Shapefile is a vector format capable of storing both geometric and attribute data. The Alchemy custom-data import tool manipulates shapefiles into GeoBase data files.

The following shapefile shape types are supported by Alchemy:

  • Point

  • PolyLine

  • Polygon

  • MultiPoint

Note Note

Alchemy does not support 3D Shapefiles (types 11, 13, 15 and 18). Attempts to import these Shapefile types will result in errors.

See the ESRI Shapefile Technical Description PDF document for more information about Shapefile types.

Note Note

GeoBase works with the WGS84 (EPSG:4326) World Geodetic System. If your data is in a different projection you will need to reproject the points to work with them in GeoBase. For more information on WGS84 click here.


When using the term "shapefile" we are referring to a collection of three files. Each file in the collection has the same prefix, but with different extensions.

The three files required by GeoBase have the following extensions:

  • .shp This file contains geometry data.
  • .shx This file contains positional index data linking the .shp and .dbf files.
  • .dbf This file contains meta-data relating to geometries in the .shp file, such as street names.
Note Note

All files in the shapefile collection should be located in the same directory.

Other 'optional' files defined in the shapefile format (such as .prj/.ixs files) are ignored by GeoBase.

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