Importing Shapefiles into Mappt


There are several options for importing Shapefiles into Mappt.  This post will cover the two most common ways: importing from your tablet’s local filesystem and importing from Google Drive.

We will also briefly touch on the Coordinate Systems supported by Mappt.

Importing from Local Filesystem

Mappt supports both internal and external (e.g. flash card) storage options, which can provide a convenient method of transferring data to tablets.

To copy files to the tablet, connect the tablet to your desktop or laptop computer via USB cable.  Note that you may need to install drivers onto your computer in order for your tablet to be recognised by your desktop machine.

Once connected, browse to the tablet from your computer.

Copy the files to the tablet, in an easy-to-remember place.  We suggest placing them into the tablet’s Downloads folder.  Be sure to copy all of the required files – Mappt requires the .shp, .shx and .dbf files to all be copied.

Once the files are on the tablet, you can import them into Mappt by tapping the Import button down the lower left:

Screenshot of the Import button in Mappt

Then tap Load DATA:


Then tap Load Dataset from Filesystem:


You can then browse to where you copied the files to, tapping the .shp file to import it into Mappt.

The dataset should then appear as a new layer in the Layer List on the left-hand side of the screen. Tapping the layer, or one of the contained features will zoom to the feature on the map.

The layout of the filesystems can vary greatly across tablet manufacturers, so you may have to hunt around to find your Downloads folder.  If you would rather not bother with filesystem layouts, you can use Google Drive instead.

Import from Google Drive

You can also open the files directly from Google Drive, by tapping the Import button, then selecting Load DATA, then Open From Google Drive, as seen in the following screenshot:

Screenshot of the Open From Google Drive button in Mappt

You may be prompted to specify which Google account you would like to access, as well as allowing Mappt to access your Google Drive account.  Mappt can only access your Drive files if you allow it.

Once you have permitted Mappt to access Google Drive, you will be presented with a familiar Open File dialog.  Navigate to where your Shapefile is stored, then open it by tapping the .shp file.  Mappt will download the necessary files and import the Shapefile into the project.

For convenience, any files downloaded from Google Drive will be placed into a Downloads folder within the Mappt folder (by default, located at /Downloads/Mappt).  This means that, once you have downloaded a file from Google Drive, you can re-import the file at any time without requiring an Internet connection – handy for working in the field.

Coordinate Systems Supported by Mappt

By default, Mappt supports data in the WGS84 format (albeit using decimal degrees as the unit).  When exporting your Shapefiles, we recommend using the format defined by EPSG code 4326.

Mappt also supports UTM formats (in decimal degrees units), which can be configured from the Settings dialog before you import the Shapefile, as seen in the following screenshot:

Screenshot of the Coordinate System setting in Mappt
The Coordinate System setting will apply when both importing and exporting Shapefiles.