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Map Suite Data Format Guide

All editions of Map Suite come with support for the most popular GIS file formats baked right in; these are the natively-supported formats. In general, a natively-supported format will enjoy better performance and API friendliness than those that are supposed through extensions.

Vector Formats

Vector data allows you to style and display your data exactly how you want it. If the data format you are looking for is not listed below you can easily integrate your own custom data format.

Format Support Type Map Suite Version
ShapeFile1) Read/write 1.0
MapInfo TAB Read/write 5.0
ThinkGeo TinyGeo Read/write 6.0
ESRI File Geodatabase Read/write 7.0
KML (Keyhole Markup Language) Read 8.0
Microsoft SQL Server Spatial 2008 and newer Read/write 3.0
Oracle Spatial Read/write 3.0
PostgreSQL PostGIS2) Read/write 3.0
CAD formats .dwg and .dxf Read 8.0
S-57 Maritime Charts Read 8.0
GPX (GPs eXchange format) Read 8.0
Tobin TDRBM II (.bas) Read 8.0
ESRI Grid (.grd) Read 5.0
SQLite Read/write 8.0 (refresh)

Raster Formats

Raster data is typically aerial imagery, satellite imagery and topo maps. However you can use almost any image as a raster layer and add it to the map. For example you may have a jpeg that represents a floor plan of a building that you would like to display on a map.

Format Support Type Map Suite Version
Mr. Sid Read 3.0
ECW Read 3.0
JPEG2000 Read 3.0
GeoTIFF Read 3.0
BMP Read/Write 3.0
PNG Read/Write 3.0
GIF Read/Write 3.0
JPG Read/Write 3.0
TIFF Read/Write 3.0

Web Based Datasets

Web based map data comes in a variety of forms. Several of the providers below are tile based web services that allow you to easily integrate rich basemaps into your application. Other technologies such as WMS and WFS provide a common way for web applications to consume maps and feature information over the web. Finally the NOAA web data layers allow you to integrate near real time weather information into your application using Map Suite.


Map Suite Version Description
World Map Kit Online 3.0 ThinkGeo's basemap based on Open Street Map Data that is displayed in most of the sample applications. You can check out what the maps look like at
WMS (Web Map Service) 6.0 WMS is a open standard set by the OGC to consume maps over the web.
WFS (Web Feature Service) 6.0 WFS is a open standard set by the OGC.
Google Maps 3) 3.0 Google Maps
Bing Maps 4) 3.0 Bing Maps
NOAA Radar 8.0 NEXRAD Radar updated every 15 minutes covering most of the United States.
NOAA Weather Watches & Warnings 8.0 Current weather watches and warnings covering the United States.
NOAA Weather Stations 8.0 Current temperatures and other weather information from NOAA weather stations around the United States.

Additional Formats using the FDO Extension

Important Note: Because the FDO extension is based on a third-party open-source code library, you may experience unexpected issues beyond ThinkGeo's control when using an FDO-supported data format.

The Feature Data Objects (FDO) extension that's included with all Map Suite controls and components enables you to utilize a wide variety of vector and raster data formats in your GIS projects. With a running total of more than two dozen vector data formats and over 75 raster formats, chances are good that you'll be able to use Map Suite to work with the spatial data and imagery that you already have at your disposal.

We have made a video presentation available that explores how you can utilize the FDO extension in your Map Suite projects. For more details, including a Quick Start Guide that will show you how to use the FDO extension, take a look at this post in our Developer Blog.

By using the FDO extension included with Map Suite the following formats are also available to you:

Vector Formats(OGR)

  • ESRI Personal Geodatabase (.mdb)
  • Spatial Data File (.sdf)
  • Arc/Info Binary Coverage
  • Arc/Info .E00 (ASCII) Coverage
  • Atlas BNA
  • Comma Separated Value (.csv)
  • GeoJSON
  • Géoconcept Export
  • GMT
  • Mapinfo File
  • Microstation DGN
  • Memory
  • EPIInfo .REC
  • S-57 (ENC)
  • SDTS
  • UK .NTF
  • U.S. Census TIGER/Line
  • VRT – Virtual Datasource
  • X-Plane/Flightgear aeronautical data

Raster Formats(GDAL)

  • Arc/Info ASCII Grid
  • ADRG/ARC Digitilized Raster Graphics (.gen/.thf)
  • Arc/Info Binary Grid (.adf)
  • AIRSAR Polarimetric
  • Magellan BLX Topo (.blx, .xlb)
  • Microsoft Windows Device Independent Bitmap (.bmp)
  • BSB Nautical Chart Format (.kap)
  • VTP Binary Terrain Format (.bt)
  • CEOS (Spot for instance)
  • DRDC COASP SAR Processor Raster
  • TerraSAR-X Complex SAR Data Product
  • Convair PolGASP data
  • Spot DIMAP (metadata.dim)
  • First Generation USGS DOQ (.doq)
  • New Labelled USGS DOQ (.doq)
  • Military Elevation Data (.dt0, .dt1, .dt2)
  • ESRI .hdr Labelled
  • Erdas Imagine Raw
  • ENVI .hdr Labelled Raster
  • ERMapper (.ers)
  • Envisat Image Product (.n1)
  • EOSAT FAST Format
  • FIT
  • Fuji BAS Scanner Image
  • Generic Binary (.hdr Labelled)
  • GSat File Format
  • Graphics Interchange Format (.gif)
  • WMO GRIB1/GRIB2 (.grb)
  • Golden Software ASCII Grid
  • Golden Software Binary Grid
  • Golden Software Surfer 7 Binary Grid
  • GSC Geogrid
  • TIFF / BigTIFF / GeoTIFF (.tif)
  • GXF - Grid eXchange File
  • Erdas Imagine (.img)
  • Image Display and Analysis (WinDisp)
  • ILWIS Raster Map (.mpr,.mpl)
  • Intergraph Raster
  • USGS Astrogeology ISIS cube (Version 2)
  • USGS Astrogeology ISIS cube (Version 3)
  • JAXA PALSAR Product Reader (Level 1.1/1.5)
  • Japanese DEM (.mem)
  • JPEG JFIF (.jpg)
  • NOAA Polar Orbiter Level 1b Data Set (AVHRR)
  • Erdas 7.x .LAN and .GIS
  • FARSITE v.4 LCP Format
  • Daylon Leveller Heightfield
  • In Memory Raster
  • Vexcel MFF
  • Vexcel MFF2
  • EUMETSAT Archive native (.nat)
  • NLAPS Data Format
  • NITF
  • PCI .aux Labelled
  • PCI Geomatics Database File
  • PCRaster
  • NASA Planetary Data System
  • Portable Network Graphics(.png)
  • Netpbm (.ppm,.pgm)
  • Swedish Grid RIK (.rik)
  • Raster Matrix Format (*.rsw, .mtw)
  • Raster Product Format/RPF (a.toc)
  • RadarSat2 XML (product.xml)
  • Idrisi Raster
  • SGI Image Format
  • Standard Raster Product (ASRP/USRP)
  • SRTM HGT Format
  • Terragen Heightfield (.ter)
  • TerraSAR-X Product
  • USGS ASCII DEM (.dem)
  • GDAL Virtual (.vrt)
  • X11 Pixmap (.xpm)

How To Use FDO-Supported Formats in Map Suite

We've just posted a handy FDO Extension QuickStart Guide that will show you how to work with the above listed data formats in your Map Suite project, so you can easily get started right away.

1) All versions of Map Suite support ShapeFile DBFs in the standard dBASE III format. Additionally, since Map Suite 8.0, DBFs in Visual FoxPro format are also supported.
2) Requires that you reference the free Postgre extension which is included with Map Suite.
3) *Use of Google Maps within a Map Suite developer SDK requires a Google Maps API For Business license and is subject to Google's licensing terms. For more information, please visit:
4) *Use of Bing Maps within a Map Suite developer SDK requires a Bing Maps license and is subject to Microsoft's licensing terms. For more information, please visit:
map_suite_data_format_guide.txt · Last modified: 2017/09/06 05:46 by tgwikiupdate