Extracting Lat Long Geometry from a Shape File


1. Obtain Quantum GIS 

Quantum GIS is an open source GIS (geographic information system) desktop tool viewing and editing geospatial data. The same way you use Photoshop for editing photos, GIS tools like Quantum GIS or ESRI ArcGIS allow you to accomplish a variety of tasks related to spatial data. Because QGIS is an open source initiative, there is no cost. You will need to install QGIS on your desktop only. No server software is required.

Obtain Quantum GIS from: http://www.qgis.org/

2. Obtain and Copy Shapefiles

Before importing your shapefile, make sure you make a copy. Once you start editing a shapefile, you are modifying the contents of the file and want to have the original on-hand.
Free Shapefile Resources from Centigon Solutions

3. Import a Shapefile

Select Layer>Add Vector Layer or click on the add layer icon add layer
You will browse to a file location on your computer and select a .SHP file. You are required to also have the .DBF and .SHX files together to successfully import your shape file.

4. Get the coordinates from the shapefile

Under geometry tools, you can Add Geometry columns. For points layers, this will output the latitude/longitude in a decimal format, which you can use for Google Maps and CMaps Analytics.


5. Open the Shapefile DBF file to extract the coordinates.

Navigate to the directory containing the SHP file and open the DBF file inside of Excel. The last 4 columns will include the Lat,Long parameters. If you get coordinates from a shapefile that is polygons, it will generate the area and paremeter values.

Now you can extract the lat,long data from the Excel file along with any other attributes (columns) from the file and integrate into your map view.

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