From GISpunkt HSR
>> Goto http://geoconverter.hsr.ch (NEU! Beta!! http://22.214.171.124/ )
GeoConverter is a static ('1:1') geospatial file data format converter and coordinate transformer. It is running as a webapplication and designed to be used by technical users who casually have to convert GIS and GPS data.
Possible source GIS vector file formats are mostly the same as the target file formats (see the FAQ below).
GeoConverter is based on the OGR open source library, especially on the OGR2OGR commandline tool as documented in the OGR pages.
It's possible that in the future GeoConverter get's an additional machine-machine interface and this would be a typical Web Processing Service (WPS).
Look also at alternatives:
- Online Geoconverter
- KML Generator for coordinates from different file formats,
- GIS-Konverter (de), especially ogr2gui,
GeoConverter in the press:
- Kartographische Nachrichten, KN 1/2012 „ATKIS-Basis-DLM und OpenStreetMap – Ein Datenvergleich anhand ausgewählter Gebiete in Niedersachsen“.
Rules for uploading files
This section explains the rules for uploading files to GeoConverter as well as important notes:
- Avoid underscores ('_') in file names.
- Geoconverter assumes that you deliver one dataset at a time.
- You may zip your single file before uploading for those formats which consist of a single file, like GPX and KML. Don't use any other archiving format than zip (no rar, tar, etc.). Under Windows we have successfully tested WinZip, 7-zip, gzip or PKZIP, freeware.
- There are dataset formats, like Shapefile, Mapinfo or INTERLIS 2, which consist of more than one file. Before uploading,
- they must be packed into one zip file, ending with '.zip' (lowercase not '.ZIP').
- and they must reside in the top most level; no (sub-)directories.
- and they must have the same file name (but of course different extension).
Notes on source file formats:
- The source file format of the file(s) to be uploaded is determined based on file extension.
- If you have CSV as source file format, to upload follow the special formatting described below.
- If your target file format is INTERLIS (.itf or .xml), make sure you provide also an INTERLIS (target) model file (.ili).
Notes on target file formats:
- Always set the target file format.
- When converting to GPX, input points are written as GPS waypoints, linestrings are written as GPX routes.
- If KML is your target file format and you have data in a different CRS you must always determine and set a source CRS and set the target CRS to 4326 (meaning EPSG:4326). This is because KML always defaults to WGS84 - EPSG 4326, the 'GPS system'.
Notes on Coordinate Reference System (CRS):
- CRS parameters may be left empty (except KML). If no CRSs are given, the conversion leafes the coordinates unchanged.
- Supply always both (i.e. source and targen) CRS parameters.
These are Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) for the GeoConverter documentation Wiki.
When conversion fails...
- What to do when conversion fails in general?
- Scan these FAQs (:->); Read the chapter "Rules for uploading files" above. Try to upload one of the example files given below.
- What to do when SHP conversion fails?
- Make sure you provide an accompanying .DBF and .SHX files and make a ZIP file with all three. If you also include a .PRJ file, then GeoConverter will get the source CRS from the "PROJCS" field, if available.
- What to do when converting to KML fails?
- See the rules regarding CRS above saying that you always have to provide source the CRS no. (to whatever CRS the source has) and to set target the CRS to 4326.
- What to do when converting from KML to some other format fails?
- First, the KML input parser is - like many parsers - sensitive to encoding. Ensure, it's UTF-8. Second, the KML parser can processes only geometry, title and one additional attribute - by default 'description' - from the KML source. Last, see the rules regarding CRS above.
- What to do when converting to KML succeeds but Google Earth displays nothing?
- First, KML is an XML dialect so check the question about GML and GPX above. Second, KML assumes the GPS coordinate system WGS84. So check if you have filled in both numbers in the fields "Source EPSG no.:" and "Target EPSG no.:". Search for these EPSG numbers in spatialreference.org.
- What to do when MIF conversion fails?
- Make sure you provide an accompanying .MID file and make a ZIP file with both.
- What to do when INTERLIS conversion fails?
- Make sure that both files, ili and itf, have the same base file name. And INTERLIS 2 is still not fully tested.
- GML or GPX fail to convert, what to do?
- These formats are XML file formats. XML is a human readable ASCII format with a very rigid structure and encoding. There are readers which validate the input and even complain about the character encoding. Often when there is an encoding called 'UTF-8' but the file comes as Windows 'ANSI'; so you have to look for an editor or a tool which writes a proper UTF-8 encoded file.
- What to do in general when the conversion fails?
- Check the log file provided with the error.
- Check, if your input file is not bigger than 100 MB. If you have not uploaded a zip file, zip it and try again.
- Read the FAQ and check the rules given here.
- Try out some sample files (see below)
- Finally, if the problem persists consider dropping us a mail.
- Where can one submit bugs and feature requests?
- Here at the bottom of the Wiki discussion page.
- Which file formats are supported by this webapplication?
- These formats are supported for writing and also for reading. Try them out with the sample data below:
- Comma Separated Value (.csv/(.csvt))
- GPX (.gpx)
- Geographic Markup Language (.gml)
- INTERLIS 1-Transfer Format (.itf/.ili)
- INTERLIS 2-XML Transfer Format (.xml/.ili)
- Keyhole Markup Language (.kml)
- Mapinfo File (.mif/.mid)
- Shapefile (.shp/.dbf/.shx/.prj)
These formats are supported for reading only:
- OpenStreetMap OSM XML (.osm)
- Keyhole Markup Language compressed (.kmz) (for writing consider .kml)
- What is WKT?
- Well Known Text, i.e. geometry values in string representation. Typical examples are POINT(1 1), LINESTRING(1 1, 2 2, 3 3) and POLYGON((1 1, 2 2), (2 2, 3 3), (1 1)). See WKT for more information.
- How do I create an INTERLIS model file (.ili) when converting to INTERLIS?
- That's an annoying feature missing in OGR. You have the guess the structure of the source format in order to write an INTERLIS model file using a text editor.
- What is a layer and a dataset?
- An OGR feature object encapsulates the values of a whole feature, that is a geometry and a set of attributes. A layer object is a collection of features (objects) of the same feature class. A data source represents a file or a database containing one or more layer objects. Note that 'layer' definition and 'feature class' definition are essentially the same. Layers have a reference to a spatial coordinate reference system (CRS). See also OGR for an explanation in german.
- I see GPX but can't find any other GPS file formats?
- GPS file formats like NMEA or Garmin (.gdb) are converted best through existing software. See GPS-Software for more information about this topic.
- I miss DXF and other CAD file formats?
- Microstation's DGN (up to version 7) is supported by OGR but not implemeted yet in GeoConverter. DXF unfortunately does not yet exist as a suitable driver for OGR altough some free libraries exist - so, sponsors are welcome!
- Why do I have to register before using this service? What are you doing with my personal information like my e-mail?
- We ask for your e-mail and name mainly because of the tedious fight against spam! As a side effect you become part of the GISpunkt HSR community where we send information mails sometimes. These mails are currently sent every other month and will never exceed once a week. Your e-mail will never be used for other purposes whatsoever and we will never give away your personal data.
- What does GeoConverter mean?
- GeoConverter means "Online Geospatial Data Format Converter".
- Is this webapplication free?
- Yes, GeoConverter is a free webapplication and it will remain free as long as this service is not abused by daily business cases (e.g. as long as bandwidth remains low).
- Is GeoConverter a competitor to other converter software?
- There are quite some professional products around like FME, igtools or InterlisStudio. These products offer more than a straight forward and static 1:1 conversion. They can be manually configured and often support more file formats. So: No! GeoConverter is not meant as a competition but as an enabler of GIS and geospatial data!
- Who runs this webapplication?
- This user service is brought to you by GISpunkt HSR. It is an experimental project without any warranty.
- What are the Terms of Service of the GeoConverter?
- See here.
- Can these conversions also be run on a local PC?
- Yes, if you can install some software on your PC: We use OGR2OGR which is delivered among others as FWTools and you can run most conversions locally as it was designed for initially. See OGR for more information about this.
- Why does .MIF/.MID fail to convert?
- The file extensions need to be lowercase: .mif/.mid.
CSV source format used in GeoConverter
GeoConverter uses the 'Comma Separated Values' (CSV) reader/writer from OGR. The OGR CSV reader/writer allows to encode geometry by using WKT as attribute values. Unfortunately, CSV leaves many decisions open and most annoying is that the (german) MS Excel is a non-conformant CSV writer. When trying to upload CSV from MS Excel some re-formatting is needed before hand (see ATTENTION), e.g. replacing semi-colons with colons, removing double quotes etc.
ATTENTION: Important format conventions: * Use COMMA as field separator/delimiter (not semicolon) * NO AMPERSAND ("&") in field values * Save file with ANSI encoding (not UTF-8, or so)
These are the rules in order to successfully upload CSV file with geometry:
- The first line must be a column header (upper or lower case).
- The column header must contain one of two possibilities as column names:
- "LON" followed by "LAT" and a "NAME" attribute. LON/LAT are floating point values (e.g. 47.355). Attribute values may (but must not) be enclosed in paratheses.
- "LAT" followed by "LON" and a "NAME" attribute. LAT/LON are floating point values (e.g. 47.355). Attribute values may (but must not) be enclosed in paratheses.
- "longitude" followed by "latitude" and a "NAME" attribute. longitude/latitude are floating point values (e.g. 47.355). Attribute values may (but must not) be enclosed in paratheses.
- "latitude" followed by "longitude" and a "NAME" attribute. latitude /longitude are floating point values (e.g. 47.355). Attribute values may (but must not) be enclosed in paratheses.
- "ID, NAME, THEGEOM". THEGEOM attributes (alternate name 'OGR_GEOM_WKT') have to be formatted as WKT, i.e. with no comma but including the parantheses.
- There can be more attributes than these three.
Examples (see HowTo_OGR2OGR for more):
lon, lat, name 12.375, 49.618, Wert 1 16.198, 50.431, Wert 2 19.628, 51.389, Wert 3
ID, NAME, OGR_GEOM_WKT 1, Wert 1, "POINT(12.375 49.618)" 2, Wert 2, "POINT(16.198 50.431)" 3, Wert 3, "POINT(19.628 51.389)"
Download sample files
Get your sample files by clicking to the links below. The data is about Swiss train stations and its of geometry type POINT (see WKT).
- Shapefile (.shp) data
- Comma Separated Value (.csv) data
- Geographic Markup Language (.gml) data
- GPS eXchange (.gpx) data
- INTERLIS 1-Transfer Format (.itf) data
- INTERLIS 2-XML Transfer Format (.xml) data
- Mapinfo File (.mif) data
Feature requests, bug reports and suggestions
Do you have any feature requests, bug reports and suggestions? We appreciate every feedback!
Please go to the "discussion" ("Diskussion") tab of this Wiki page and put it there by adding (+) your feedback on the bottom.
- Release 1 - around 20. Dec. 2007, with OGR/GDAL 1.5.0b1 from FWTools 2.0.2.
- Release 2 - 9. Aug. 2012, OGR/GDAL 1.9.1
Terms of Service
Originale deutsche Version.
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