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    Home » Available Data Formats

    Available Data Formats

    Welcome to our Available Formats page! Below you will find helpful information about the formats that we make available on our Data Download page. If you can't find the information you need or if you have any further questions, please contact the City of Lynchburg GIS Team.


    Available Formats

    In an effort to meet the needs of our most frequent requestors, we offer our data in three different formats. Two of the formats are specific to GIS. They are the ESRI File GeoDatabase format and the ESRI Shapefile format. The third available option is the AutoCAD Drawing format. Each of these options vary in their structure, functionality,  level of completeness, and compatibility. Please review the details below for each available format prior to downloading our GIS data.


    File GeoDatabase

    General: A File GDB is the proprietary ESRI recommended format for ArcGIS outside of a relational database.

    Structure: A File GDB is a file folder that holds dataset files. There can be multiple datasets/feature classes stored in a File GDB.

    Functionality: The File GDB offers the highest level of functionality of our three options within the ESRI environment.

    Completeness: The File GDB most successfully mirrors the data within our Enterprise GIS. This format offers the highest level of completion in terms of attribution and related data.

    Compatibility: The File GDB is not compatible outside of the ESRI environment. Within the ESRI environment, there are some limitations with regards to version compatibility.


    Helpful Links: 


    Shapefile

    General: A shapefile is a proprietary ESRI format. It is the simplest file format of the ESRI software. 

    Structure: A shapefile is stored as a set of related files. There is one feature class per shapefile.

    Functionality: The shapefile offers a lower level of functionality than the File GDB format, however, still offers a higher level of functionality than the Drawing format in the ESRI environment.

    Completeness: Of the three options available, the shapefile is second in regards to completeness. There are generally no issues with completeness concerning feature geometries, however some of the complex attribution design is lost. For example, many of our attributes are stored as integers which are tied to a domain or subtype.   The domain or subtype in turn supplies the more descriptive value that is displayed in the ESRI environment. In one such case, a value of 1 may have the subtype of "Highway" and the value of 2 would use the subtype of "Major Arterial." These descriptors are lost when exported to the shapefile format resulting in only the integer values being present.

    Compatibility: The shapefile offers a higher level of compatibility than the File GDB outside of the ESRI environment. Within the ESRI environment, shapefiles are cross compatible through all versions of the ESRI software.


    Helpful Link:


    Drawing

    General: A drawing is a proprietary AutoDesk format used by many fields including engineering, surveying, landscape design, and architecture. We export to the R2000 version of a drawing file.

    Structure: Drawings are file based. There can contain many feature classes, stored as layers, in a single drawing file.

    Functionality: The drawing file offers the lowest level of functionality within the ESRI environment, however, offers higher levels of functionality outside of the ESRI environment.

    Completeness: On the surface, the drawing file format offers the lowest level of completeness out of the three options available. Drawing files will retain the geometry of features, but will not retain their attribution. There is a download available designed to allow access to and use of attributes within the AutoCAD environment. The drawing file that we offer is formatted for use by this extension. Please see our Drawing File Help  for more information.

    Compatibility: The drawing file is the most compatible format outside of the ESRI environment. It is used by many fields and is compatible with many software programs.


    Helpful Links:   


    Side-By-Side Comparison






    Format

    Structure

    Functionality

    Completeness

    Compatibility

    ESRI

    Non ESRI

    ESRI

    Non ESRI

    File GDB

    Folder - Many feature classes

    High

    Low

    High

    High

    Low

    Shapefile

    File - One feature class

    Good

    Good

    Good

    High

    Good

    Drawing

    File - Multiple feature classes

    Low

    High

    Low

    Good

    High

     

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