FAQ – I can’t import my shapefile. ‘Shapefile loading error: near …’

There was an error loading shapefile:
Shapefile loading error: near “-“:
Syntax error

iGIS does not recognise special characters in file names or column headings in the .dbf.
In this example, the import is erroring on the hyphen (-) in either the title of the file, or the column headings in the dbf.
By removing the hyphen, and using an underscore (_) instead, you can avoid this error and load your shapefile successfully.


Deleting the Cache manually (updated)

UPDATE: There is now a way to limit the image cache size. Go to iOS Settings>iGIS>Map Display and specify the number of tiles the application will cache.

In order to maintain high performance when panning around your map, iGIS creates a cache of the maptiles.

This cache grows over time, and while it is limited to 1000 maptiles (it will probably only ever reach 450MB), you may find that you need to regain some of that space for various reasons.

Currently, we do not have a feature within the app itself to clear the cache, however, you can do this manually by using the iExplore software.

Please follow these instructions in order to clear the cache.

Download iExplorer http://www.macroplant.com/iexplorer/ (or similar)

  1. Using iExplore, with your iPhone/iPad connected to your computer, navigate to: <*Your Device Name*>\Apps\iGIS\Library\Caches
Directory Structure

2.  Delete the RMTileCache.db file

3.  Disconnect your device

4.  Run the application – the RMTileCache.db file will be recreated, and will gradually increase as you use iGIS.  You may need to repeat these steps again.

Import from Email – iGIS 7 onwards

To import from email, follow the steps below.

1.  Open the email and tap on the zip file to load it.


2.  Select the ‘open in’ button as shown in the image below.


3.  Select the iGIS application to import the data straight to iGIS.  You will be taken straight to the import page where you can then select the projection of your data and import it.



Convert 3D shapes to 2D for use with iGIS in iGIS 7.3

Have you encountered the following  error message while importing data?

Shapefile loading error:
Incompatible shapefile data structure
(iGIS does not support 3D data points)

At this stage, iGIS is unable to handle 3D shapefiles correctly, and your shapefiles will need to be edited to remove the z-value.

In the following example, ArcGIS will be used to convert convert 3D shapes to 2D shapes by using the Feature Class to Feature Class tool. It is possible to also use other GIS applications, such as QGIS.

1.  To locate the tool most easily,  just search for ‘feature class to feature class’.  Select the tool that is highlighted in the image below.

Search for Feature class to Feature class tool

2.   Select the shapefile that contains the 3D features, and load it into the ‘Input Features’ dropdown box.  Enter the ‘save’ location for the new shapefile.

3.  Select the ‘Environments…’ button to access the ‘Z Values’ settings.  This is where you will disable the z-value of your shapefile to create a 2D shape (see the two images following).  Repeat for ‘M Values‘.

Select the environments button
Select ‘DISABLED’ from the Z values section

4.  Click ‘OK’ and you are ready to load your new 2D shapefile into iGIS.

As always, we are happy to assist if you have any concerns or questions regarding this process.  Just email iphone@geometryit.com


— extra info http://forums.arcgis.com/threads/77695-w

iCloud Backup

iCloud is utilised by iGIS to store data and subscriptions, if the user allows it.
This short article will outline the pre-requisite settings to take advantage of these features.

If you are in the field, your data will only be saved on the device until you reach Wifi. There is an option to allow iCloud update via your mobile telephone network, should you require that.

1. Go to your iOS Device’s settings, and select iCloud

1. iCloud Settings Menu
1. iCloud Settings Menu









2. Access the ‘Storage and Backup’ menu at the bottom of the page.

2. Storage Menu
2. Storage Menu

3. a) Ensure that iCloud backup is switched ‘On’ as shown in the image below.  b) Select Manage Storage to select the iGIS application and turn backup ‘On’.

3. Manage Storage options and Backup
3a. Manage Storage options and Backup4. iGIS application found under 'BACKUP OPTIONS' (not shown)3b. iGIS application found under ‘BACKUP OPTIONS’ (not shown)

4. go ‘Back’ and perform a backup while connected to USB power.  The first backup may take a long time. You may want to do this overnight. (Note: you will need to be connected to a Wifi network.

Your device is now set up to allow for subscriptions to be shared, and data to be saved remotely to prevent data loss.


Custom data entry forms

The following article will document the process for generating and editing custom .glc files in order to create custom data entry forms in iGIS.

You can import: a .glc with your shapefile; and export it from iGIS.


To start using customized forms, we recommend that you follow the following steps:

  • Step 1. Download the below linked sample glc shapefile data and become familiar with the format by; investigating the file in a text editor, importing it into iGIS, editing the shapefile in iGIS.
  • Step 2. Export your shapefile layer from iGIS to automatically create the *.glc.
  • Step 3. Edit your iGIS created *.glc template file with a text editor to add lookup code lists. Use the sample *.glc file from step 1 as a syntax reference.
  • Step 4. Import your shapefile into iGIS with your *.glc file, and begin editing your data with codelists.

Sample Form

We’ve produced a sample .glc file which is available here; FieldPoints3.zip

Use these samples to create your own customized forms. The sample data entry form is:

Projections issues

Some users have reported discrepancies with the location of their data over the basemap imagery in iGIS and/or a desktop GIS tool (such as ArcMap). If you are noticing a shift in your layers, this article may help you.

All vector data in iGIS is stored in the common coordinate system: WGS84 EPSG:4326. All raster data in iGIS (pre-processed through MapTiler software) is stored in the common coordinate system: EPSG:900913. Using these coordinate systems for all source data speeds up rendering in iGIS’s map display.

iGIS uses the open source proj4 library ( http://trac.osgeo.org/proj/ ) to support:

  • the reprojection of vector data on import/export from its original defined input coordinate system to WGS 84 (EPSG:4326)
  • re-projection of displayed iGIS project map centre coordinates from the WGS84 coordinate system into the projection defined for a particular project.

If you are unsure which coordinate system to use when you create a new project, we recommend you use the default EPSG:4326 WGS84 Lat/Lon for vector data.  This will ensure your data collection is not affected by reprojection within the application.

If you find that your points don’t line up with your basemap imagery as expected, it is likely that there is a bug with the proj4 library.  Bugs in the library can be submitted at the Proj4 website http://trac.osgeo.org/proj/ We incrementally update iGIS’s version of the Proj4 library with the latest available version, so when a fix becomes available in the library it will make its way into iGIS. Until then, the only workaround is to transform your data into a supported coordinate system, i.e. EPSG 4326 – WGS 84, with third party software like ArcGIS, prior to iGIS import.

How can I backup and restore projects to a new phone?

UPDATE 2: This guide was updated in July 2017 to include instructions for iFunbox. The old instructions for iPhone Explorer/iExplorer may be outdated.

UPDATE: The pro version of iGIS is now able to export projects via the Data manager. At this stage, it will not export imagery layers.

If you need to restore your iPhone or iPad, or you wish to transfer your projects to a new phone, it is possible to save your projects and settings in their current state.

iGIS uses two sqlite databases in its backend; spatial-store.sqlite and Projects.sqlite. In most cases data can be restored to your iPhone after from these files using free third party software as described in the steps below.

Get a copy of these backend database files off your device using third party software like iPhone Explorer or iFunbox. The development team uses iFunbox.

Method 1: Using iFunbox

  1. Download and install iFunbox on your computer. The development team uses version 1.8 on Mac. At the time of writing, this version was working with all iOS devices.
  2. Connect your iOS device via USB to the computer you installed iFunbox on.
  3. When you launch iFunbox, you should see something like the screenshot below.
  4. Click on “App File Sharing” or the left arrow to expand the folder. In here, you should see folders for all the applications on your iPad that support file transfer. Go into the folder for the version of iGIS you are using (iGID HD for iPad, iGIS for iPhone).
  5. Inside this folder, you may see a number of blue folder icons. For the purpose of restoring projects, you need to go into the .database folder. 
  6. Inside the .database folder, there will be two database files. spatial-store.sqlite stores the layer data and features. Projects.sqlite stores the information about what projects you have and what is in each project.
  7.  Copy both of these files to your computer by selecting them and right clicking. You should see an option to copy these files to your Mac or PC. You can also drag and drop them from iFunbox.
  8. If you want to have a look at what is in these files, you can use an SQLite browser. The development team uses SQLite Manager for Firefox.
  9. Replace these two files if you want to restore your projects from another device. Simply copy the version of the files that you want, which overrides the old version. You can drag and drop into iFunbox to do this. Do not use iGIS at the same time you are replacing files.

When you restart iGIS, it will read the new files instead and your projects and layer data will be the replaced version.


Method 2: Using iPhone Explorer/iExplore (old guide)

  1. Device 1 (or, prior to restoring your device)
  • Using iExplore, with your iPhone/iPad connected to your computer, navigate to: <*Your Device Name*>\Apps\iGIS\Documents\
Navigate to Database
Directory Structure
  • Copy the ‘.database’ folder to your desktop.
  • Note: You can simply copy the entire ‘Documents’ folder if you would prefer.
  • Disconnect your device.

2.  Device 2 (or, after restoring your device)

  • Install iGIS and run once.
  • Quit the app (iOS7: double tap the home button and flick the app window away; iOS6: double tap home button, hold iGIS icon, then remove with red button).
  • Connect your device to your computer and open iExplorer. Navigate to the same folder as before: <*Your Device Name*>\Apps\iGIS\Documents\
  • Overwrite the existing folder with the folder that you saved to your desktop.
  • Disconnect your device and run the app.
  • Your files will be available to you as before.

What field types are supported for iGIS *.glc files?

When the iGIS WiFi import page tool is used to create a *.glc file for shapefile data, each field will be described as one of the below types;






iGIS also supports a number of special field types which can be used to replace these default types. When special types are defined the application will auto populate values on feature creation/edit.

<field-type>CodeList</field-type> –







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