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Understanding Shapefiles (SHP)

How to use TerrAvion's shapefiles with GIS softwares

The shapefile (SHP) format is a popular geospatial vector data format for geographic information system (GIS) softwares. This format includes points, lines, and polygon geometries. With TerrAvion, field boundaries are often submitted as a SHP. You can also draw shapes in your fields with the polygon tool, which you can then export as a SHP, and import it into other platforms.


Shapefiles are composed of, at a minimum, 3 files: .shp, .shx and .dbf. When you download a SHP file from TerrAvion, it will download 4 separate files. Outside of GIS platforms, these files are non-functional. For example, if you open an individual file, including the one labeled SHX file, it will open as a text file with no comprehensible information.

This group of files needs to be uploaded into a GIS platform together for them to function as a shapefile.


After you download the shapefile, and before you upload it into a GIS platform, you might need to extract the files, depending on your GIS software. At the top of the folder window, under Compressed Folder Tools, click the Extract button, and then the Extract all button to extract the files. Once the files are extracted, you can then upload them into a GIS platform.