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Author Topic: Using GDB files in place of Shapefiles for water features in custom Garmin Maps?  (Read 7345 times)

bacall213

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Hi all,

I've made it most of the way through the [awesome] tutorial on making custom Garmin Maps, but I'm caught up on the USGS NHD data. I submitted my orders for the NHD data 3 or 4 days ago but never received the download links.

I emailed the helpdesk at USGS and received a reply later in the day indicating that my requests are queued up behind 80 large requests and it may take 3-4 weeks for my requests to be generated.

As an alternative, the gentleman from the The National Map helpdesk suggested that staged subregion data in File GDB or Personal GDB formats would be much quicker to obtain.

I looked into the differences in the file formats and found that there's an overwhelming preference  for GDB files over Shapefiles. However, since I'm not all that familiar with what's going on in the background to produce the final map nor familiar with these formats (my knowledge of cartography is very limited), I don't know if I can actually substitute the Shapefiles with File/Personal GDB files. To use the same "word for word" process, I understand I would have to convert the files first (GBD > Shapefile). However, since I don't know much of these formats, I'd hate to end up with the Pacific Ocean on top Mount Olympus.

Can anyone offer advice on how to proceed? Would it be better to wait for the Shapefiles to process, or can I work with the File GDB or Personal GDB data instead?

Thanks,

Brian

Boyd

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Some people have criticized government agencies for using .gdb files because they are proprietary to the Arc products. I have not looked into this myself for a few years, but at that time I couldn't find any freeware/shareware to open/convert .gdb files. About that same time, Globalmapper added support (maybe in version 11 or 12?) but there were a number of bugs. I think it was discussed on this site before.

I think these might have been corrected in newer versions of Globalmapper, but I am still on version 12. Maybe there are some other inexpensive solutions today that didn't exist a few years ago? Globalmapper isn't cheap, but I personally find it indispensible. For example, it would be trivial to do the things you're struggling with related to GNIS data. Globalmapper just opens those files like anything else.

But, are you saying that when you go to the National Map and try to download the hydro data for a USGS quad, they're telling you it will take 3 to 4 weeks? That's amazing, anything I've tried to get from the National Map has been available in a matter of minutes.

Seldom

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GDB support was added in GM 13, and it was only added for the version 10 GDB format.  ESRI has not published libraries for earlier versions, so Mike can't incorporate them in GM, so unless the files have been re-saved as version 10 GDB you are out of luck.  I was looking into this in September of 2011, and got some version 10 GDBs of California BLM Land Status.  After I got them they reverted to version 9.  Hope the BLM's funds to upgrade this data haven't been sequestered.

maps4gps

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When I used 'tested' GM14 I got a message saying I needed to enter a valid ESRI license to be able to view a personal geodatabase.

Seldom

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When I used 'tested' GM14 I got a message saying I needed to enter a valid ESRI license to be able to view a personal geodatabase.

I just downloaded the V10 CA land status map that I shared with maps4gps last year.  It opened fine in the Gm 14 64bit that I just upgraded.  I believe an ESRI license is necessary to view versions prior to V10 in GM.

-Oz-

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Good to know because I would definitely like to use the staged files.
Dan Blomberg
Administrator - GPSFileDepot
GPS Units: Garmin Dakota 20, Garmin GPSMap 60csx, Nuvi 255W, Nuvi 250W, ForeRunner 110, Fenix 2, Tactix Bravo, Foretrex 401
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Seldom

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bacall213, this is a little faster than what you describe, but about as much fun as watching paint dry.  See my post here if you already haven't.

nm_map_user

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ogr2ogr will translate GDB to .shp
The program is open source/GPL (I think) and available in pre-compiled images for windows (and mac, I think).  It's part of the GDAL package.

 

anything