AGFSHAPE.TXT (8/12/96)


1. AGFSHAPE.EXE is a DOS program that converts an Atlas Geo file (AGF)

into an ESRI shapefile. The general procedure is to determine which

layer of the Atlas Geo file to translate and then convert that particular

layer to an ESRI shapefile. Unlike Atlas Geo files, ESRI shapefiles

contain only one layer of spatial information.


2. Although you can convert an Atlas Geo file that is in any projection,

we recommend that you always put the Atlas Geo file into the

Latitude/Longitude projection first. Within Atlas GIS for Windows, go to

the Map pull down menu, select Change Projection and then LL. When the

Atlas Geo file is in Latitude/Longitude, the shapefile coordinates will be

written in decimal degrees. Decimal degrees are preferred for ESRI

shapefiles since ArcView can project them to other projections on the fly.

As a result, shapefiles are generally stored in decimal degrees.


3. Within AGFSHAPE, there are two methods to view the layer information of

an Atlas Geo file. One method writes the information to the screen while

the other writes the information to a text file.


Command Usage: AGFSHAPE [agf_file] {output_file}


[agf_file] The name of the ATLAS Geo file that you want to

convert. You must have both an AGF and AIF file.

Do not include the suffix.


{output_file} Specifying an output file is optional. If you

specify an output file, the layer information will

be written as a text file. Otherwise, the layer

information will appear on the screen. Specify

the TXT suffix.




Example Results:


Layer# Name Type Count

0 Countries Region 238

1 PotentialCntrys Region 8

2 Grid Line 56

3 Capitals Point 196

4 Cities Point 1579


&REM NAD-27 Latitude/Longitude, Scalar in Degrees of Latitude







Note that there are 5 layers in this AGF file. They are

numbered 0-4. The layer description, type and count of features

are also included.


4. Once you know the layer number that you wish to convert, execute the

conversion command.


Command Usage: AGFSHAPE [agf_file] [layer_number/layer_name] [shape_file]



[agf_file] The name of the ATLAS Geo file that you want to

convert. You must have both an AGF and AIF file.

Do not include the suffix.



The layer number or name on the AGF file to convert.

Layer numbers range from 0-255. Layer names are case

insensitive (ROADS is the same as RoAdS)


[shape_file] The name of the shapefile to create.

Do not include the suffix.






This command creates four files with the following suffixes:


.shp - stores the feature geometry

.shx - stores the index of the feature geometry

.dbf - dBASE file that stores the feature attribute information

.prj - ARC/INFO projection file (PRJ)




1. The first three files in the list above (.shp, .shx, .dbf) make up a

shapefile and should always be stored in the same directory. The ARC/INFO

projection file (.prj) is not used by ArcView. For more information on all

the files that can be part of a shapefile, see the ArcView on-line help.


2. The projection information of the AGF file is written to an ARC/INFO

projection file (PRJ) for most projections. There are a few exceptions

(GKn, IGNxxx, LLPARIS, OSGB, and OSNI). The PRJ file will have the same

name as the shapefile (i.e. XXX.PRJ) If ARC/INFO users later convert the

shapefile to a coverage, they should copy the PRJ file into the coverage

directory as PRJ so the coverage will have the correct projection



3. When creating a shapefile, the resultant DBF file will have the

following items:


ID_ The ID of the feature.

NAME1_ The primary name of the feature.

NAME2_ The secondary name of the feature.


For line and region layers.

PARTS_ The number of lines or polygons that make up the feature.

POINTS_ The number of points in the feature.

LENGTH_ The length of the line or perimeter of the polygon.


For region layers.

AREA_ The area of the polygon.




* Technical Support *



1. In the United States, telephone support for Atlas Geo file

translators is available from 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Pacific standard

time Monday through Friday by dialing (909) 793-3774. For users who

don't wish to call in, or can't reach Technical Support during our

normal operating hours, fax and E-mail support is available 24 hours a

day (faxes and E-mail received after 6:00 p.m. are handled the next

business day). Fax us at (909) 792-0960. Send E-mail to


2. Users outside the United States should contact their International

Distributor for information about operating hours, telephone, fax, and

E-mail support in their country.


3. For additional support, discussion, and tips, try a few of our

24 Hour Support Services available on the Internet. (For details go to


- Atlas Discussion Forum

- ArcView Discussion Forum

- ArcView-L