A shapefile is the most common geographic file type that you will most likely encounter. A shapefile is not a single file, but rather several files used to create geographic features on a map. When you download a shapefile, you will have
.dbf at a minimum. These files are the shapefiles that contain the geometry, the index, and a database of attributes. Your shapefile will most likely include a projection file (
.prj) that will tell that application the projection of the data so the coordinates make sense to the application. In the examples, you will also have a
.shp.xml file that contains metadata and two spatial index files,
To find shapefiles, you can usually search for open data and a city name. In this example, we will be using a shapefile from ABQ Data, the City of Albuquerque data portal. You can find more data on this at http://www.cabq.gov/abq-data. When you download a shapefile, it will most likely be in the ZIP format because...