Esri Shapefile Technical Description

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Full name Esri Shapefile Technical Description
Version 1998
Amendments None
Corrigenda None
Published by ESRI
Languages English
Online overview ESRI Shapefile Technical Description. An ESRI White Paper—July 1998
Type of standard Proprietary standard (published and freely available)

Instance level

Related standard(s) None
Application This document defines the shapefile (.shp) geographic data format and describes the format’s importance. Typically used for (non-topological) vector geometry with associated attribute data. For example, street centrelines or points of interest.
Implementation benefits The shapefile stores non-topological geometry and the associated attribute data for the features of a dataset. The geometry is stored as a set of vector coordinates that create a shape. The lack of topology speeds up rendering and editing. However, there are drawbacks when performing complex spatial analysis. The shapefile is a relatively small file and requires little storage space.The shapefile is the de facto standard for geographic data exchange and import and/or export functionalities are implemented in most GIS software.