Exporting Data


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    Exporting data is simple and fast from GIS Kit/Pro. One of the main things to remember is that export buttons have contextual significance--the location of the button implies what data will be exported with it. The following table shows the correlation of export button location and what it exports:

    Export Button Location Data to be Included in Export
    Projects screen Entire project (i.e. project's master layer) for currently selected project
    A project's top menu Entire project (i.e. project's master layer)
    Within a layer That layer and all its descendants
    Feature class dataset All the feature classes within that dataset
    Feature class Only this feature class
    Raster image details (pro version only) Only this raster

    Export Destinations - Email, iTunes, Local Peer, and Custom Server

    There are four possible destinations for exported files: Email, iTunes, Local Peer and Custom Server. Email should be self-explanatory. iTunes file sharing is based on the apps "Documents" directory. Files in this directory are accessible via iTunes when you plug your device into a desktop computer via USB cable. It does NOT require a sync and does not even require that the iTunes library be used by the device's user. It provides a fast, secure way of transferring files to and from the device.

    To view the files in iTunes, first connect the device and wait for it to show up in the sidebar. Then select the device, then the "Apps" tab. Lower down on the screen the apps that support file sharing will be selectable. Select GIS Kit or Pro and the files in the Documents directory will become visible in the menu on the right.

    The files in GIS Kit/Pro's Documents directory is strictly for file transfers and is not needed by the app once the data has been imported. You can delete the files in this directory either from iTunes or right-swiping on their rows in any of the import dialogs.

    You can send files directly to a nearby device running GIS Pro using the Local Peer export destination option. This is accomplished either by wifi or bluetooth and GIS Pro must be running on both devices. If the device is connected to a wifi network then it will search for other devices on the same wifi network. If there is no wifi network then it will attempt to use bluetooth. You must enable bluetooth in the system settings for this to work. Please note that the local peer mechanism may be slow and somewhat unreliable, and is mainly intended to provide a temporary solution for those working in remote destinations with no other connection options.

    A custom export API was added in version 1.9.4 that enables organizations to add a custom option to the export destination list. For more information see the Export API page.

    Export Formats

    The various file formats GIS Kit/Pro support each have different strengths and detailed discussions of the formats can be found at their respective websites. Here we will simply list the things you should know about them when using them with GIS Kit/Pro.


    GPX is fairly universal and is the most common format for GPS handheld units. They are limited to routes, tracks, and waypoints so they do not generally convey very much of the information used in a GIS system.


    KML is a very good format for hierarchical data as it is capable of preserving layer relationships. It is also the best format for preserving display information such as icons and colors. It does not, however, support line thickness or line styles such as dashes.

    Since there is no standardized approach to sharing individual attributes through KML they are all put into an HTML table so they will display well in other programs such as Google Earth. They do, however, get split back out into attributes when imported back into GIS Kit/Pro although the type information is lost since the HTML is just broken up into strings.

    KMZ files are actually zip archives that contain a KML file and optionally more files. GIS Kit/Pro includes custom symbols, photos and rasters into KMZ files so that they will display properly on the receiving platform. This can, however, make the size of the file somewhat unmanageable which is why we also created the KMZ Compact option.

    KMZ Compact

    KMZ Compact is the same as KMZ except an image resizing operation is performed on all the images stored in image attributes. It is not performed on raster overlays, however. The maximum pixel dimensions of exported images can be controlled using the export settings located at the top right of the initial export dialog.

    Shapefile (GIS Pro only)

    Shapefiles is a good format if the primary objective is preserving attributes. All style information is lost as this is not a typical function of Shapefiles. They are typically used in professional organizations due to their strength in data standardization, which is why this format is only included in the Pro version. Some key points to note:

    • Attribute names are limited to 10 characters
    • A feature class must be chosen to define which fields to include
    • Only one feature class can be exported at a time, the resulting filename will be based on the name of the feature class
    • All feature classes within the exporting layer and its descendants will be included in the export
    • Features that do not belong to a class (i.e. imported from KML) can be selected using "Description Only" or, in newer versions, "(No Class)"
    Shapefile with images. Images from image attributes are embedded in the Shapefile. Because there is not a standard for embedding images in shapefiles we can't guarantee that other software will be able to import the images. GIS Kit and GIS Pro will import these images. When exported each image is named with an integer (1,2,3...). This name corresponds to the name in the attributes in the Shapefile.

    Comma-Separated Values (CSV) (GIS Pro only)

    CSV files are easy for other applications to parse, such as Microsoft Excel. They provide an excellent mechanism for transporting the data from features' attributes. Key points:
    • The export process for CSV files is similar to Shapefiles, i.e. you must select a feature class
    • Geometric information is only included for point features

    Feature Class Files (FCL) (GIS Pro only)

    FCL files are a proprietary format used by GIS Pro to transfer feature class information.