MapInfo TAB and MIF/MID
The basic file components for a MapInfo dataset are established in native (TAB) format and in interchange (MIF/MID) format. Mapinfo MIF/MID is a commonly used geographic format and well supported by DigiTerra Explorer. The native (TAB) format currently not yet supported in DigiTerra Explorer, but you can easily create a MIF/MID export from any native Mapinfo TAB file.
Native (TAB) format
Minimum files required for the basic Mapinfo browser environment:
* .DAT (The file which stores the attribute data. This usually a dBase III DBF file)
* .TAB (The ASCII file which is the link between all other files and holds information about the type of data file)
To view geographic information (the graphic representation of data) in Mapinfo Professional, two additional files are required and added to the basic requirements for simply viewing data.
Minimum files required to view a map with the data previously discussed:
* .ID (Stores information linking graphic data to the database information. This contains a 4-byte integer index into the MAP file for each feature)
* .MAP (Stores the graphic and geographic information needed to display a map on the users screen)
* .IND (Optional index files for tabular data. This is present if any fields are indexed).
Interchange (MIF/MID) format
MapInfo Interchange Format is a map and database exporting file format of MapInfo software product. The MIF-file filename usually ends with .mif-suffix. Some MIF-files also have a related MID-file. The filename of a MID-file usually ends with .mid-suffix.
A MIF/MID file physically consists of two files:
* .MIF file contains geometry
* .MID file contains attribute data
Both files are in ASCII format so they can be viewed with any text editor. The .MID is actually a comma-separated value file. The link between them is rather simple: the first line in the .MID file contains the attributes for the first geometry object in the .MIF file.
Everything about spatial data conversion into digital GIS formats.
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- Balazs Hober
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