Importing ESRI Shape Files
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About SHP Files

ESRI SHP files store both geometry and attributes (data) for features. A single shape can have as many as five physical files with the same filename, but different file extensions:


You can connect to SHP filesto edit the original data in its source, or import it to convert the data into AutoCAD drawing objects. Once you import data, the connection to the original source is lost. If you update the source, your changes will not appear in the imported copy.

By default, AutoCAD Map 3D considers SHP files a multi-select, file-based format, that is, you select one or more individual .shp files during a single import process. You can change the default in the mapimport.ini file so that AutoCAD Map 3D considers SHP files a folder-based format (all files in the folder are included in the import) or a single-select format (only one file can be selected for import).

When you connect to or import SHP data, AutoCAD Map 3D checks the geometry to see if there are multiple closed outer loops. If so, it treats the geometry as multi-polygon (a polygon with multiple exterior rings). It does not treat unclosed outer loops as multi-polygon.

When you create a multi-polygon in AutoCAD Map 3D and then save or export it to SHP format, it will appear in its native SHP file as a multi-polygon.

When importing SHP files, it is important that you have the complete set of .shp, .shx, and .dbf in the same folder. The import operation will work if you have only the .shp file, but only the geometries will be imported. To import data with its geometry, you need the full set of files.

The link to the data stored in the .dbf file can be maintained during the import operation, or the data can be imported into object data in the AutoCAD Map 3D drawing.

You can import TEXTSTRING information from SHP classes you bring back into AutoCAD Map 3D by importing points as text.

Import Restrictions

SHP files do not include color information. Imported objects have the same color as the AutoCAD Map 3D layer.

Point symbols, line styles, and fill styles are not maintained when importing from SHP files. Before the translation, put these items into one or more fields in the associated database so you can reassign the display properties of the graphical objects using these values in the drawing file.

Driver Options

SHP does not have import driver options.

See Also
Importing ESRI Shape Files