Ask MetaFilter is a question and answer site that covers nearly any question on earth, where members help each other solve problems. Ask MetaFilter is where thousands of life’s little questions are answered. I’m trying to figure out a way to convert a vector map image, in Adobe Illustrator, to a .shp shapefile usable in GIS software like ArcSoft. I know very little about ArcSoft and shapefiles. Is there a plugin? Is there some intermediary format I could export from one and import to the other? Is this simply impossible? My research thus far has been fruitless, so any help would be much appreciated. , associate metadata with the vector file so that the GIS knows how the file relates to meatspace). AutoCAD is pretty helpful for doing this, along with any number of other proprietary programs (like those sold by ). If you are working with some GIS guys, see if you can convert the Illustrator file into something that can be read by AutoCAD (dmz?), and they should be able to handle it from there. It’s been about 5 years since I fooled with any of this stuff, so take this advice with a boulder of salt. Also Illustrator CS2 can save as SVG, a nice XML based vector format. There might be transforms out there to convert a SVG file into something you need. ajr – being as you’re in NOLA too, and a lawyer these days, i’m curious as to where you got your experience with this kind of thing… My undergraduate degree is in engineering and I worked as an environmental consultant for about 4 years (both before and during law school). I knew nothing about GIS when I started the job, but I found it fascinating. I soaked up all I could and had actually built up a pretty decent skill set before I made the full-time switch to the legal world. I tried to keep up with it, but the software barrier ( Ask MetaFilter is a question and answer site that covers nearly any question on earth, where members help each other solve problems. Ask MetaFilter is where thousands of life’s little questions are answered. Source.