How to convert SHP to TAB (Esri Shapefile to MapInfo)

Liz Sanderson
Liz Sanderson
  • Updated

FME Version

  • FME 2019.x


This example will show you how to transform the City of Vancouver Postal Code data from Esri shapefile (*.shp) to MapInfo TAB (*.tab) format and style it.

The Esri shapefile (forwardsortationareas.shp) denotes the different postal districts covering Vancouver. A forward sortation area (FSA) is a geographical region in which all postal codes start with the same three characters. The first letter of an FSA code denotes a particular "Postal District".



This video was created with FME version 2016.0. Some of the steps might be slightly different, but the overall process is the same for newer versions of FME.


Step-By-Step Instructions

1. Inspect the Data in FME

The first step is to inspect the ForwardSortationAreas.shp file. Open a blank FME Workspace and add a new reader. In the reader dialog, type in Esri Shapefile, then browse to the ForwardSortationAreas.shp file. Click OK to add the reader to the canvas.


Now to view the data, click on the ForwardSortationAreas reader feature type on the canvas to open the popup menu. Then on the popup menu click the View Source Data button to view the data in the Visual Preview Window.



We have area features representing the forward sortation areas. There is a single attribute (CFSAUID) which identifies the forward sortation area, which is the first three characters of the Postal Code.



Note: This step can also be completed in FME Data Inspector for versions previous to FME 2019. Just be sure to add the Esri shapefile reader to FME Workbench after inspecting the data.


2. Set the Output (Writer) Format to MapInfo TAB (MITAB)

Next, we need to add a writer to the canvas. Click on the Add Writer and in the Add Writer dialog box, for the Format, select MapInfo TAB (MITAB)

For the Dataset, browse to a folder where you would like to save the file. Click OK to add the writer.



3. Add a MapInfoStyler Transformer

Add a MapInfoStyler transformer to the canvas, and connect the input port to the ForwardSortationAreas reader feature type, and the MapInfoStyled output port to the ForwardSortationAreas writer feature type.



The MapInfoStyler transformer is used to set the foreground fill color, or otherwise modify the appearance of a MapInfo dataset.

Open the transformer parameters, enable Region, and then set the Foreground Fill Color to any color. When you are satisfied with your selection, click OK to accept the new fill color.



4. Run the Workspace

Run the workspace by clicking on the green play button.


5. View the Output Dataset

To view the output dataset, click on the ForwardSortationAreas writer feature type to open the popup menu. Then click on the View Written Data button.



This will open up the data in Visual Preview. If you do not see the map, click on the Toggle Graphics View Button.



Data Attribution

The Forward Sortation Areas data set provided here comes from Statistics Canada, 2011 Census Digital Boundary Files, 2013. Reproduced and distributed on an "as is" basis with the permission of Statistics Canada. © This data includes information copied with permission from Canada Post Corporation.

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