Comparison of Vector Formats (GIS)

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The following tables compare general and technical information for a number of vector GIS file formats. Please see the individual products' articles for further information. Unless otherwise specified in footnotes, comparisons are based on the stable versions without any add-ons, extensions or external programs.

General information[edit]

Design Authority Software license
Cartesian coordinate system
Geography Markup Language GML Open Geospatial Consortium  ?
MapInfo TAB format
National Transfer Format
Shapefile ESRI
Vector Product Format (VPF)

Feature Types[edit]

Point Multipoint Line Polyline MultiPolyline Polygon Multipolygon
GeoJSON[1] Yes Yes  ? Yes Yes Yes Yes
Personal Geodatabase Yes No Yes No No Yes No
Shapefile[2] Yes Yes  ? Yes Yes Yes Yes (as Polygon with multiple outer rings or as MultiPatch)


  1. ^ Butler, Howard; Daly, Martin; Doyle, Allan; Gillies, Sean; Schaub, Tim; Schmidt, Christopher (June 2008). "GeoJSON Specification". Retrieved 2014-10-27. 
  2. ^ ESRI (July 1998). "ESRI Shapefile technical description" (PDF): 4. Retrieved 2010-01-25.