Celebrate Shapefile Day on December 3

Fans of the shapefile now have a day to celebrate.  The parody @shapefiIe account on Twitter has declared December 3 to be International Shapefile Day.  Why 12/3 as the day? Because:

“12/3 because thanks to my architecture I can have 12+ sidecar files, 3 of which are mandatory.”

What is a Shapefile?

First of all, despite the singular name, it’s not just one file.  A shapefile is actually a GIS vector data format that has, at a minimum, three mandatory files.  These three file contain the necessary information about the geometry (.shp)  and attribute (.dbf) information for the GIS dataset as well as an index file (.shx).  As noted, there are additional optional files that can be attached to a shapfile such as a .prj file which stores the file’s coordinate system information.

More: What is a shapefile?

The shapefile has, at a minimum, three mandatory files (shaded blue).

The shapefile has, at a minimum, three mandatory files (shaded blue).

How to Celebrate International Shapefile Day

You can participate on December 3 by including #ShapefileDay in your related tweets.  

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