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How to Create a Shapefile in ArcGIS & QGIS

What is Shapefiles?

Shapefiles are simple, non-topological Vector format for storing the geometric location and attribute informatian of geographic features. In this Tutorial, Learn how to create Shapefile or Vector file in ArcGIS and QGIS.

A shapefile is one of the spatial data formats that you can work with and edit in ArcGIS. Geographic features in a shapefiles can be represented by points, lines, or polygons.

The following data types are supported within a shapefile:

  • Short Integer
  • Long Integer
  • Float
  • Double
  • Text
  • Date

Create a Shapefiles (Vector file) in ArcGIS

1. From the right side, Catalog window select the folder, click right the button of the mouse, then New > Shapefile.

shapefile in arcgis tutorial

2. In the Create New Shapefile dialog box, write down the name of the shapefile and choose Feature Type.

On the Spatial Reference Section, click the Edit button and select Geographic Coordinate Systems-WGS 1984. Finally, click the OK button to close the Create New Shapefiles dialog box.

New shapefiles is automatically added in contents (TOC) pane.

Create a Shapefiles (Vector file) in QGIS

Learn How to create Vector Data or Shapefile.

Before you can add new vector data, you need a vector dataset to add it to. In our case, you’ll begin by creating new data entirely, rather than editing an existing dataset. Therefore, you’ll need to define your new dataset first.

You’ll need to open the New Vector Layer dialog that will allow you to define a new layer.

1. Navigate to and click on the menu entry Layer > create Layer > New shapefile Layer.

2. It’s important to decide which kind of dataset you want at this stage, basically 3 different types of vector layer (a) Point (b) Line (c) Polygon. For example, create a new Polygon dataset.

3. Click Polygon ratio button > Coordinate Reference System, or CRS.

The next field allows you to specify the specifies how to describe a point on Earth in terms of coordinates, there are many CRSs. The CRS of this project is WGS84.

It’s already correct by default > click OK a save dialog will appear > go to your destination folder > write name > click OK.

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