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Working with .E00 data

By: GeoCommunity Staff

Lots of data at the GISDataDepot is served up in ARC/INFO .E00 format. We can't count the number of times in a day that we at The GeoCommunity receive phone calls and email from people needing help working with this data. The following article attempts to explain in basic, non-technical jargon, how to work with this data.

Data in .E00 is an ARC/INFO interchange file format. this is a simple ASCII file which can be opened and viewed using any common text editor (wordpad, notepad, textpad).

The following gives you an idea what the data looks like:

EXP  0 /GISWK/FTP/PUB/TMP20/CNTYS.E00                                           
ARC  2
         1     18114         2         1         2         1         2
-1.9764960E+06 3.1712590E+06-1.9802236E+06 3.1723502E+06
         2     18115         1         2         2         1         4
-1.9802236E+06 3.1723502E+06-1.9810328E+06 3.1690918E+06
-1.9762238E+06 3.1684802E+06-1.9764960E+06 3.1712590E+06
E00 is essentially an interchange data format developed to enable users to move data into and out of ARC/INFO.


IMPORT71 is a stand-alone program that converts an ARC/INFO interchange file created on any other operating system into a ARC/INFO 7.x coverage or grid. If you receive ARC/INFO data in interchange format you can use IMPORT71 to convert it to a data source in a format that can be added to a project or view in ArcView (or used in other mapping programs).(Source: ArcView 3.2 help) If you have ArcView GIS you already have IMPORT71... hopefully you know this! For you non-ArcView users, Import71 can also be downloaded from the GeoCommunity software resources. Go to to download it.

Steps to run Import71:

  • download import71.exe (1.9 mb)
  • run install
  • program should now exist in C:\Program Files\ESRI\Import71
  • run import71.exe
  • specify an import file (the .E00 file)
  • specify a location for the resulting output coverage (enter the full directory path and coverage name - no extension needed)

  • in this example we are importing a US county data coverage called cntys.e00. The resulting coverage will be store in a directory called "county", note an "info" directory is also created.
  • you now have an ARC/INFO coverage that can be acced by a number of programs (including ArcView of course)

    Using the resulting ARC/INFO coverage

    ArcView - Add Theme/Data Source Type "Feature Data source". Select coverage "county"

    To convert to ArcView .SHP format - Select Theme/Convert to Shape Coverage

    GeoMedia - start GeoMedia

  • Creat a new GeoWorkspace
  • Warehouse/New connection

  • assign a connection name and description
  • assign the ArcInfo workspace folder (this is the directory where the ARCINFO coverage exists - not the name of the coverage itself.

  • select access all features in the warehouse
  • let the wizard open as read-only
  • done!
  • To view select Legend/Add FeatureClass County_area (county area features)

    E00 Viewer

    If you just simply want to view a E00 coverage there are a number of data viewing tools available to help you. Visit our Software/Viewers

    The most recent addition to these free products is GeoMatica™ FreeView from PCI Geomatics This free geomatics software package will allow users to quickly and easily view data directly in a number of common data formats including E00, MIF, DEM, DLG, SDTS, and many more. FreeView can be found at

    This program will enables viewing E00 data directly without any translation. Additionally, users can use the "View Layer Attributes" option to view spatial attributes associated with data features.

    FME from

    Finally, consider getting yourself the free 30 day fully function evaluation download of FME from safe software FME is the driving force behind the popular Universal Translator that ships with MapInfo ( and has become the defacto standard in data conversion software. (Comment added 01/09/02)
    More Tutorials

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