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 File Formats and GIS Software Compatibility

There are many software options for importing and using CUGIR files. Although we do not recommend or support any particular software system, CUGIR does attempt to make data available in popular and widely-compatible formats. The following information describes some software options for specific data formats. A general description of what steps may be needed for import is included for select applications and formats. Please consult the help files, manuals and support web sites associated with the software being used for specific guidance. ESRI software users (ArcGIS) can find support at Another possible source of help is the New York State GIS Clearinghouse Help desk.

Some of the GIS software products which CUGIR data can be used with are listed below. Other tools are continually being developed and made available at low or no cost. We've listed a few in the GIS Tools: Freeware and Shareware section of CUGIR Help. One useful site for finding these tools is .

Software Compatible Data Formats
Arc Export
ArcInfo Grid
ArcGIS Explorer (free) X X X X
ArcGIS 9.x X X X X X
ArcGIS 10.x X X X X X
Dlgv32 Pro (free) X X X X X
Geomatica FreeView X X X X X
Manifold X X X X X
TatukGIS Viewer (free) X X X X
Quantum GIS (free) X X X X X

ArcGIS 9.x (commercial)

ArcGIS version 9.x is available at three different functionality/license levels. ArcView, ArcEditor, and ArcInfo each offer the same interface and following suite of integrated applications: ArcMap (for creating, analyzing and editing map projects), ArcCatalog (for organizing data), and ArcToolbox (for converting, managing, and analyzing data files). ArcToolbox can be accessed within ArcCatalog or ArcMap. Many batch processing tasks are now handled in ArcGIS via geoprocessing scripts. While some are provided within ArcGIS, custom scripts can be written in a COM compliant language (e.g. Python).

*Special Note: Some tools/functionalities available in previous versions of the Arc family of ESRI products (importing .e00 and .mif files) are now be found in the ArcView 8x Tools Conversion Toolbar, in ArcCatalog. To add the toolbar:

  • Start the ArcCatalog application.
  • Click the View menu, point to Toolbars, and click Customize.
  • Check the box next to ArcView 8x Tools on the Toolbar tab and click close.
  • Click the Conversion Tools drop down menu to access tools.

USGS DEM files (.dem) USGS DEM formatted files must first be converted into grid format before elevation data can be imported into ArcMap. To import a USGS DEM for use in ArcGIS 9.x, open ArcToolbox from ArcCatalog or ArcMap. Go to Conversion Tools/To Raster/DEM to Raster.

Arc Export files (.e00) ArcGIS 9.x users who have the Interoperability extension enabled can import e00 files directly. Others must first convert them to a coverage file. ArcInfo licensees can use ArcToolbox. Go to Coverage Tools/Conversion/To Coverage/Import from Interchange file. [These and other users can add a 8.x style Conversion toolbar to ArcCatalog, see note above.]

ArcGIS 10.x

The latest release of ESRI's ArcGIS software, version 10.x, is available at three different functionality/license levels -Basic, Standard, or Advanced (formerly ArcView, ArcEditor, or ArcInfo, respectively). These share the same core applications, user interface, and development environment. Each license level provides additional GIS functionality as you move from Basic to Standard to Advanced. You can compare these here. Optional ArcGIS for Desktop extensions offer specialized tools and additional capabilities to enhance your system. Changes with this latest release include an increased emphasis on online data, including ArcGIS Online data that can be seamlessly imported into maps, and mobile device features.

Manifold (commercial)

A relatively low cost, high function commercial GIS application that runs in Windows. Works with vector drawings, satellite and aerial photos, other raster data, multichannel remote sensing images, 2D and 3D surfaces and terrain simulations, multilayered maps, user supplied or automatically generated labels and a wide range of database table formats. Includes a built in Internet map server for publishing maps to the web. Support for Manifold can be found in the software help files, and in the online User Manual. There is also a searchable archive of user questions and answers at the Manifold Forum.