Category Archives: Knowledge Base

iGIS support for MapInfo Professional Users

Whilst iGIS currently only supports the import and export of spatial data in ESRI’s shapefile format, MapInfo Professional users do not need to miss out on all the fun, as they can easily utilise their softwares built in Universal Translator tool functionality to convert MapInfo TAB datasets to and from ESRI Shapefile datasets.

Support for conversion from MapInfo TAB files to ESRI Shapefiles;

Support for conversion from ESRI Shapefiles to MapInfo TAB files;

Custom Data Entry Forms

UPDATE: There is a newer version of this article. Please see Custom Data Entry Forms

With iGIS you are able to design your own customized data entry forms, making data entry so much easier. What you can do with customized forms is:

  • rename form fields to be more readable,
  • set default values for fields,
  • add a help prompt,
  • use a date/time picker,
  • use code lists to select from a set of values with readable text

You define the format of the data entry form in an XML file, which is imported along with the data. This file is of type .glc and have the same name as the shapefile.

he .glc file defines information for each shapefile attribute so that a nice data entry form can be produced.

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. Use the data export to create a *.glc template for your own shapefile data.
  • 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;

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


Exporting .glc Files

You can export .glc files by using the Data Export screen

Reference Information

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

A full listing of supported field types can be found here; All supported field types

Readable Names

Instead of seeing the shapefile names, which can be truncated, you can show a readable name by using readable-name=”Nice Name”.


You can define an attribute as a unique identifier. this will usually be a number, denoted by the data-type of ‘N’. Set the field-type of ‘AutoIncrement’ to automatically produce the next highest number.

<Attribute column=”Id” readable-name=”Identifier”>
<Value data-type=”N” length=”6″>

Code Lists

Use code lists to show readable values instead of codes in your forms. For example, the code list below will show ‘Small’ instead of ‘1’ in the form. Note that this code list has a name, in this case ‘SizeCodes’, which will be used by the attributes.

<CodeList name="SizeCodes" type="N" length="1">
   <value code="1">Small</value>
   <value code="2">Medium</value>
   <value code="3">Large</value>

To use a code list, in the attribute set the field-type to ‘CodeList’ and the field-param to the code list name.

<Attribute column="ShortInt" readable-name="Size">

<Value data-type="N" length="4">


<field-param>SizeCodes</field-param> ...

Default Values and Prompts

For text and number fields, use default to set a default value for the field. If you don’t set a default, you can set a prompt for the field, to aid data entry.

You can’t use both default values and prompts. Default values don’t work with codelists.


As the date type in shapefiles only hold dates, not times, we recommend that you use a text field to hold dates, which contains both dates and times. Use at least a 25 character field with field-type of ‘Date’. Setting the default value to current will mean that the timestamp is autopopulated when the attribute edit window is invoked in the App.

<Attribute column="Timestamp" readable-name="Timestamp">

<Value data-type="C" length="25">



</Value> ...

Can I load the shapefiles I export from iGIS into Google Earth Pro?

Yes, however Google Earth pro will only allow you to import shapefiles if they contain an associated projection file (*.prj) 

The current version of iGIS does not read or write shapefile *.prj files so you will need to create these with a third-party product or manually with a text editor and the relevant WKT representation text.

For help in discovering your relevant WKT representation text, see the linked site in the below article;
Which EPSG code relates to the projection of my shapefile data?.

Read and write functionality for shapefile projection files may be included in a future iGIS release.

Why does the iGIS import page not fully load in my internet browser?

The iGIS import page requires Java Applet functionality to be correctly enabled and configured in the web browser you are using.

Please visit the below applet test page to ensure that Java is working correctly;

 If the applet does not display properly the page describes additional steps to work through.

 If the applet at the page does displays correctly it will return your Java configuration details.

Location Services not Enabled

UPDATE: location services have changed in iOS, with further emphasis on privacy. Since iOS 7 or 8, they are now located under Settings>Privacy>Location Services.

If you get the following error from iGIS:

“iGIS could not retrieve your current location or compass direction. The application must be allowed to access your location data for this function to work”

Then make sure you have location services enabled in the Settings app, under General:

Enable location services for your device
Location services must also be enabled for the iGIS application

Which EPSG code relates to the projection of my shapefile data?

The below linked website can help with determining which ESRI projections relate to which ESPG codes.

Simply browse to your shapefiles *.prj file, select convert, and the site returns EPSG code(s) and details which match your shapefile projection parameters.

In addition, the below linked EPSG Geodetic Parameter Registry website contains functionality to query EPSG codes by name.

How to perform ping checks in Windows, Linux and Mac OS?

Here are instructions on how to perform a ping check on different operating systems: 

  •  Windows:

1. Open Start menu
2. Click Run
3. Type cmd and press enter
4. In the command prompt type ping and press Enter

 This will provide ping results from your computer to You can also use ping with an IP, i.e. ping

  • Linux:

Open a terminal window and type ping

  • Mac OS:

Go to the Applications folder > Utilities > Network Utility > ping and specify a domain or IP.

Alternatively, you can open up Terminal, type ping and press Enter. You can also use ping with an IP, i.e. ping



iGIS is avaiable for all devices running iOS 6 and later.


  1. A Wi-Fi network will required to import or export data using Dropbox or email.
  2. ESRI Shapefiles are used for all data import and export.
  3. To preserve your pro subscription, iCloud document services are required.
  4. Location services need to be allowed for some features of the application.
  5. Java 1.5 or 1.6 is required on a desktop machine to import/export data. Test this via