Import Polylines Dialog

Import Polylines dialog

Use the Import Polylines Dialog to specify which attributes from the shapefile are used for the label, description, and type fields in the imported objects.
Each attribute from the shapefile is listed, and the value of that attribute for the first object in the shapefile is listed in parenthesis.

Convert To

Select whether the polylines should be converted to shapes or tracks.


Select an attribute from the shapefile to be used as a label.
Select an attribute from the shapefile to be used as a description.
Select an attribute from the shapefile to be used as the shape or track type.
Type Prefix
Enter a phrase which describes the categories of objects contained in the file. The type name that ExpertGPS generates for each object will consist of the Type Prefix, followed by the value of the Type attribute. In the example above, the type would be "Road - Class 5".

What is the difference between Type and Type Prefix?

ExpertGPS uses Types to determine how objects are displayed on the map. All objects with the same type will be drawn in the same way on the map. ExpertGPS gives you flexibility when assigning types based on shapefile data. It uses this formula: Object Type = Type Prefix + Type. Shapefiles often use cryptic abbreviations to classify polyline objects. The class field in your shapefile might simply be a number between 1 and 5, where 1 is a highway and 5 is a minor street. By prepending a Type Prefix, you can turn "1" into "Road - Class 1", which will make a lot more sense when others are trying to figure out the Types used in your ExpertGPS data.

If your shapefile has just a single type of data in it, just enter that in the Type Prefix field. If you enter "Gas Pipeline" in Type Prefix and leave the Type field unassigned, all of the imported polylines will have the Type "Gas Prefix".

If your shapefile has understandable object names in one of the database fields, you can leave Type Prefix blank and just select the correct database field in the Type selector. ExpertGPS will copy that database field entry for each polyline and assign it to Type when creating new tracks or shapes.

You can use Type Prefix and Type together to build up a longer, more understandable object type.


The upper right and lower left bounds of the polyline data is displayed. ExpertGPS automatically determines whether the data is in an X,Y grid or in latitude,longitude format and displays appropriate coordinate formats below.

Coordinate Format

Select the coordinate format that was used when creating the shapefile. ExpertGPS will use the coordinate format you select as the default coordinate format.


  • Shapefiles often use cryptic digits or letters to classify objects. The shapefile used as an example above uses a single digit in the CLASS attribute to encode the following Massachusetts Highway Department road types:
    1 - Limited Access Highway
    2 - Multi-lane Highway
    3 - Other Numbered Route
    4 - Major Road
    5 - Minor Street
    If this file was imported into ExpertGPS, the imported shapes would have meaningless types "1", "2", "3", "4", "5".

    To give the shapes more meaningful types, add a Type Prefix, like "Road - Class".
    This will produce the following types: "Road - Class 1", "Road - Class 2", "Road - Class 3", "Road - Class 4", "Road - Class 5"

    If the end users of this GPX file are not familiar with the road classification system used, you should later use the Edit Shapes command to rename "Road - Class 1" to "Highway", and update the other shapes accordingly.
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