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Shape Files for Alabama WMA's

Started by woodstramp, March 09, 2011, 03:09:31 AM

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I'd heard that some states have thier Wildlife Management Area boundaries available for folks to
download.  My state doesn' I called to see if it will be available one day.   Discovered that they are working on it.  The lady even offered to email me shape files of all the WMA's in the state.  I only requested the four that I've actually been to.

The files are a "gdb" format.   I'm not a map builder, but I would like to  turn thes shape files she sent and turn them into a transparent map overlay for my Garmin handheld.  How much trouble would it be to go from a GDB file on my Desktop to a transparent map?   Thanks.


File extensions are not necessarily unique. But the only kind of .gdb file I know of is a Mapsource file - not a shapefile. I'm wondering if they converted the shapefiles into tracks or routes and put them into a .gdb file so you could use it in Mapsource?

Try opening it in Mapsource and see what you get.


The .gdb file extension refers to an ArcGIS "geodatabase".  You will need ArcMap software to access the information contained in it.  After extracting/exporting the shapefiles from the database it would only be a matter of following the tutorials on this site to make your own img format map.

The .gdb format has not been released by ESRI (no other software can open it), but if you post your file here (or link to it), then either myself or someone else here with access to ArcMap can extract the data you require.



Well, I did like Boyd suggested....opened right up as a series of visible routes in MS.

Honestly, I'm not swooft enough in this area to actually build a map with the data the lady sent.

One of you map makers here made a US "surface management" map.  It shows federal lands as an overlay and is outstanding.   If this lady were to send me a .gdb format file for WMA coverage in the whole state would it be much trouble for you practiced map makers to turn that into something like the US surface management map?  That way, folks interested in hunting public lands could just download in the Alabama tab here?

Also, the lady offered this info in other formats...I requested something a Garmin could use.  Is there a specific format that would be better for making one of your maps?  This stuff is Greek to me. :)


Jim Bensmen would likely be interested in that information to include in his Eastern Public Land Ownership map.  ESRI shape file format is readable by most of the software we use.


I'm fairly new Garmin user.  Most of my experience is with Delorme PN's and Topo 8 software.  I ran those .gdb files through the GPSVisualizer site and converted them to a an.1 extension type file (Delorme Draw layer file)....dragged that booger into Topo and it looked great.  Topo already had boundaries for the WMA I mostly haunt.  This new one was a lot more accurate than the stock Delorme boundaries.  (I used aerial downloads to compare against timber cut lines and place I know the physical boundaries.)


If I can get the lady to email me the shape files of the whole state WMA files I would be more than happy to send them to the Jim Bensmen fellow.  Especially if he can produce a nice overlay for download here.  Would love this map on my 60csx.  How can I get in touch with him? Is he a member here?


I checked the AL GIS site and it was down.  Not sure when it will be running again.  I don't like to include just WMA, I like to include all public lands.  I also use shapefiles.  Can you check with her and see if they also have public ownership shapefiles?  The easiest way is to give ma a link to where I can download the data.


I've never used this program, but it looks pretty good. In mapsource you could export as a .gpx file and use this to turn it into a map without any real technical knowledge:,1438.0.html


Jbensmen, All,

I sent a request to get the whole WMA shapefile.  I generally don't like "splaying private email stuff on public forums, but here is part of her reply:

"I'll talk to the Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Division and check with them about sending the file to GPSfiledepot. There may be some concern over changes that may occur with the boundaries in future years."

Guess they gotta cover themselves from possiible lawyer junk, I figure. (Lawyers....don't get me started)  ;D  She also told me that she had "Forever Wild" project land files if she's OK'd to do so.


Thanks for the link.  Got it bookmarked for study. BTW, this lady also sent me a Garmin map making link:

I have it bookmarked for study too. Thanks.


One more thing...forgot to mention.  I think they may have concerns about posting the map files because the WMA system in this state is in constant flux....some is added, some is lost..every year. Leases come and go.    Maybe a disclaimer here about the map being a "rough guide only", at the potential download page, stating this fact could make it possible to get the files.


You should find usage/copyright restrictions in the metadata for the shapefiles. That should tell you what you can and cannot do with them.


Don't know how to do that....any hints?


The .gdb file they sent you won't have any metadata. But shapefiles are generally distributed as .zip archives that contain a metadata file with information on how they were created and what kind of use is allowable. You may also find this kind of info on the state's GIS website.


That is what I think is thier GIS site and it still says

The Alabama Data Portal is currently offline. We apologize for the inconvenience.

Can you ask them how thier data can be accessed online?  To make the landownership maps, I normally just download something off a state GIS server.


I don't know why the state site is down.  I don't even know if the lady I've been dealing with is affliated with that site (was phone-treed to her from contacts at Fish and Game)  Noticed there is an email contact at that site listed if you need assistance.  I'll shoot one to see if I get a reply.