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Editing shp files and saving the changes

Hello

I am currently experimenting with several different mapserver programs for creating an internet mapping application.

In all of these programs it seems that i have to apply the formatting (i.e. background colours, road colours etc) to my map file before i serve it to the user. I am not talking about adding new features to the map and saving these, just saving the formatting of the existing lines and shapes (i.e. line colour, fill colour)

Being as the formatting will be the same every time i serve the map, is it possible to edit the maps in some map making software and save the formatting in the map file rather than wasting time formatting it every time it is accessed?

Thanks very much for your help
andrea
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andieje
Asked:
andieje
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1 Solution
 
Jaime OlivaresSoftware ArchitectCommented:
You can use ESRI ArcView, it is free:
http://www.esri.com/software/arcgis/arcview/
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andiejeAuthor Commented:
Arcview is not free. Its $1500!! Do you mean ArcExplorer?? This seems to be free
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Jaime OlivaresSoftware ArchitectCommented:
Oh sorry, you are right, confused because my client has both, but ArcExplorer just have little capabilities to create thematic maps using previous info.
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andiejeAuthor Commented:
Hello

I have looked at arcexplorer and another program called mapmaker. These programs let you edit your maps and add features to them but they save the changes as some sort of project file. I wondered if it was possible to edit a shp file such as change the line colour and then save that shp file. This does not seem possible with arcexplorer. The only option seems to be to save an arc explorer project file.

Thanks
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andiejeAuthor Commented:
I was wondering, is it possible to actually edit a shp file directly (such as change a line colour) and save that change within the shp file or are shp files associated with some sort of formatting layer that is applied to it when you view the file?
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maphewCommented:
Shapefiles do not store any thematic (style & colour) information. That is left up to the application, so the short answer to your quest ion is "No, not in shapefiles". Sorry.  

However in your mapserving application you should be able to tell it to "always show rivers.shp as blue". Exactly how you do that depends on the application you are using.

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andiejeAuthor Commented:
Thanks - that's the information i wanted though not the answer i wanted!! :)
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maphewCommented:
you're welcome.
I think. :)
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