Types of Conversion of Existing Data: Direct Translation & Neutral Format (Especially for GATE-Geospatial 2022)

Get top class preparation for IMO-Level-2 right from your home: get questions, notes, tests, video lectures and more- for all subjects of IMO-Level-2.

Examrace Books on Mapping, GIS, and Remote Sensing prepares you throughly for a wide range of practical applications.

The choice of a conversion method basically depends upon the specificity of the data format. Proprietary data formats require special translators for data conversion, whereas neutral or public formats require a GIS package to have translators that can work with the formats.

Main Types of Data Conversion

Basically, two types of convert process are used for conversion of any existing data:

Types of Convert Processes

1. Direct Translation

Direct translation uses a translator or algorithm in a GIS package to directly convert spatial data from one format to another (next figure) . Direct translation used to be the only method for data conversion before the development of data standards and open GIS. GIS users still prefer direct translation because it is easier to use than other methods:

  • The ArcToolbox application of ArcGIS, for example, can translate Arclnfo՚s interchange files, MGE and Microstation՚s DON files, AutoCAD՚s DXF and DWG files, and Maplnfo files into shapefiles.
  • Likewise, GeoMedia can access and integrate data from ArcGIS, AutoCAD, MapInfo, MGE, and Microstation.

2. Neutral Format

A neutral format is a public format for data exchange. For example, DLG is a familiar neutral format to GIS users. The USGS provides DLG files, and other government agencies such as the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) distribute digital soil maps in the DLG format. This is because most GIS packages have translators to work with the DLG format.

Developed by: