Shapefiles in MICRODEM

The shapefile (actually a collection of several actual files) is a de facto standard for vector data.

You will see the DBF file in the Table display window and can easily get the impression that it is all the program needs.  This is definitely not true for line or area files, for which the program must use all three files for map display and attribute determination.  For a point shapefile, MICRODEM stores the Lat/long in the DBF file and does not use the SHP and SHX files.  You can recreate those files if necessary on the Report button of the database table form.

MICRODEM will only use shapefiles in Lat/Long coordinates, and they must be in WGS84.   If they are not in Lat/Long coordinates, you will have to convert them. This should now be automatic if you have GDAL installed.  If you need to reproject shapefiles to lat/long or WGS, you must get the required projection information from the metadata with your shape files.

Some 3D shapefiles have z coordinates in the file, and some additional operations are possible with them.

For line and area data sets, you must be careful not to add or delete records in the DBF file since the linkage between files is based on record position.


You can display the shapefile from the map window toolbar as an overlay on any open map:

You can create a map with the shapefile setting the base area with:


To get coordinates for shapefile features:

  1. Database on the map window toolbar.
  2. On the Table display window, Double click on the record, and pick "Record coordinates"

Operations with shape files:


Last revision 11/25/2019