shapefile-to-PrettyMap batch conversion
This page is intended for advanced users and GIS professionals who know the shapefile (shp) & database (dbf) formats and wish to convert such maps for use with PrettyMap. You should first see and try the free shapefile-to-prettymap conversion utility.
When converting a shapefile to the PrettyMap format (pmap), you need the following files:
- .shp (mandatory)
- .dbf (optional)
- .prj (optional, if no .prj is provided then WGS84 is assumed)
Note that .shx file is not used – it is assumed that the order of objects in .shp and .dbf is the same.
Make a zip archive containing these files and send us for conversion.
Additional information that should be provided is specified below. Try to provide a value for each field. Even though they are not mandatory, specifying them will improve performance, functionality and quality of map display.
- Category name. See "default.txt" in the "gfx" directory in PrettyMap distribution or create your own styles and category hierarchy.
- Which attributes to skip from the dbf file. All non-useful attributes should be specified here. This will reduce the file size, speed up loading, and decrease memory requirements. Always specify attributes to skip if there are redundant ones.
- Index of the attribute to be considered the default label.
- Index of the numerical attribute which acts as "importance" of objects.
- "Direction" of importance: whether higher value means more important ('W') or the contrary ('w').
- Alternative names of all attributes (those in the dbf file are usually short and capital letters).
- Simplify threshold for area (polygon) maps. You may want to simplify polygons if they are too detailed and it takes too much time to draw them.
- Map name.
- Data credits: where map data come from.
Let's have a look at the example: you got a map of Canada (canada.shp, canada.dbf). You don't know what is on the map, but you use QGIS to inspect both vector shapes and the database attributes. You discover that there are the following attributes:
You decide that you don't need attributes #0,3,4,5,9. So this is your "skip attributes" field. The following attributes are left:
Then you decide that
- the default label should be #1 (ADMIN_NAME),
- the importance should be POP_ADMIN (you discovered it is a numeric attribute, not a text), so it is 'W3',
- you choose the category to be "Boundaries.countries",
- map name to be "Canada",
- credits to be "Some Institute That Created This Map",
- you want to simplify the map with the threshold 0.01,
- and you decide not to give your own names to attributes even though the original ones are a bit unclear.