ZIP - One or more files compressed and consolidated into a single binary file. Use WinZip to uncompress and extract the contents of a zip file.
E00 - A proprietary file format use to distribute Arc/Info data sets. Topology and attributes are properly maintained in this format.
SHP - An ArcView Shapefile, they can be used in ArcView or ArcExplorer. A shape file actually consists of 3 - 6 separate files (ending in .dbf, .shx, .shp, .sbx, .sbn, etc.) Shape files do not have topology.
MET - An ASCII Metadata file. It contains all pertinent information about your GIS data. These files can be opened with any text editor. For an explanation click here.
TIF - An image file format that is near universally-supported by all image-editing and Geographic Information System (GIS) software. Scanned USGS topographic maps and selected sets of orthophotography are provided in this format.
TFW - The registration file for a TIF file. This file contains the real world coordinates for an image. This file must be in the same directory as the TIF file.
DEM - A file format provided by the USGS containing elevation information at a 30 x 30 meter pixel resolution. Referred to as Digital Elevation Models.
SID - An image file format that is supported by a limited number of Geographic Information System (GIS) software and a few free image viewers. May be converted to TIF format for subsequent use in image-editing software. Selected sets of orthophotographys and historical aerial photography are provided in this format.
SDW - The registration file for a SID file. This file contains the real world coordinates for an image. This file must be in the same directory as the TIF file.
Can I purchase RIGIS data on CD?
No, this service has been discontinued.
What is a .zip file?
A .zip file is a compressed binary file format developed to expedite file transfers. An individual zip file will contain at least 2 individual files within it.
What is the difference between E00 and SHP?
A SHP file is an ArcView Shapefile. This file format can be used by a wide range of software. Use of this file format is recommended over the older Arc/Info Export file format.
An E00 file is an Arc/Info Export file that needs to be imported (see general instructions). Once imported the GIS coverage can be used in Arc/Info or ArcView. Use of this file type is not recommended unless if you have a specific need.
What are all of those files contained in a SHP zip?
An ArcView Shapefile consists of a 3-6 different individual files (.dbf, .shp, .shx, .shn, .sbx). These files will all have the same first name and need to all be located in the same directory.
Why are some of the E00 files named in such a cryptic way?
The naming convention is a carryover from a RIGIS decision in 1993 to facilitate locating data. These names proved unpopular and are now being gradually phased out in favor of simpler file names and more thorough metadata (documentation) that comply with Federal Geographic Data Committee (FGDC) metadata standards. The now obsolete 1993 RIGIS metadata standards are still available to assist you with interpreting the cryptic filenames that remain in the RIGIS database.
I have downloaded a zip file but get errors when I uncompress it?
Perhaps you haven't successfully downloaded the entire zip file. Check to see that the file size on your computer matches the file size on the website.
How do you recommend citing data obtained from RIGIS within an academic paper or professional report?
Use of a professional or academic publication standard is encouraged, such as the ASPRS Photogrammetric Engineering & Remote Sensing (PE&RS) standard.
Using this format as an example, a citation for an individual RIGIS dataset might follow this example:
RIGIS, 2013. Rhode Island Senate Districts; senateDist13. Rhode Island Geographic Information System (RIGIS) Data Distribution System, URL: http://www.edc.uri.edu/rigis, Environmental Data Center, University of Rhode Island, Kingston, Rhode Island (last date accessed: 6 February 2013).
And a citation for the collective RIGIS online database might be:
RIGIS, 2013. Rhode Island Geographic Information System (RIGIS) Data Distribution System. URL: http://www.edc.uri.edu/rigis, Environmental Data Center, University of Rhode Island, Kingston, Rhode Island (last date accessed: 6 February 2013).
For comments and questions about RIGIS
policy and coordination issues:
Shane White - RIGIS Coordinator
Rhode Island Statewide Planning Program
For comments and questions about the RIGIS database and the content of this website, please contact:
Greg Bonynge -
RI Geospatial Extension Specialist
University of Rhode Island
©1993-2013 Rhode Island Geographic Information System and the Rhode Island Board of Governors for Higher Education. Disclaimer