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Coastline Extraction from NOAA DBase into sector file

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That just shows me a world map, but nontheless.


You can define coastline as a geo entry in the sectorfile. But the actual definition is just like everything else, straight lines between two coordinates. So what you need to do is find the gps coordinates of the coast in diffrent places and enter these under geo in the sectorfile. Depending on your accurracy you make more or less definitions, that's up to you


Does this make any sense or do you want me to go into more detail?

Johan Grauers

Event Coordinator - vACC Scandinavia

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Thank you,


I would like to have some more help with the extraction. When you see the map, you zoom in to location you want to extract, click Accept and then I don't know what to choose from following options:


Coastline database: 1: 70 000 / 1:250'000 / 1:2 000 000


Compression method for extracted ASCII data:

None GNU GZIP UNIX Compressed ZIP


Coast Format options:

Mapgen Arc/Info Ungenerate Matlab Splus


Coast Preview options:

No preview GMT Plot


Can you give me an advice here?






Ok I went one step further, extracted coastline 1:2 000 000 and got this:






The default MAPGEN format is lon,lat with new segments separated by a line containing the characters "# -b".


How to convert them into coordinates for .sct file?

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I'm not sure if there's a quick way to make the conversion itself but I can give you an example of how it's supposed to look from the swedish sectorfile:



N063.42.17.424 E020.00.24.368 N063.40.52.936 E020.08.34.390. Coast

N063.40.52.936 E020.08.34.390 N063.43.16.561 E020.13.04.746. Coast

N063.43.16.561 E020.13.04.746 N063.44.41.050 E020.20.24.072. Coast

N063.44.41.050 E020.20.24.072 N063.46.39.328 E020.26.18.913. Coast

N063.46.39.328 E020.26.18.913 N063.48.46.058 E020.28.50.988. Coast


Just a few randomly picked lines, but these two coordinates define where the line should be drawn (notice the coordinates appear two times, since every row is a new line to be drawn).


You say the default mapgen format is the one below, there is no way to get the points out in the format above? That could make your work a real pice of cake...

Johan Grauers

Event Coordinator - vACC Scandinavia

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Well the reason why I am asking about conversion is because year ago I read a turtorial on how to make GEO data out from NOAA site.. Now I can't find this tutorial, but I know there was an easy way to accomplish this task.


Maybe someone has done it before?


From VRC site..


Coordinate Formatting:


Every section uses latitude and longitude coordinate formatting. To specify a coordinate, you provide both the latitude and longitude for the point, using degrees, minutes, seconds, and decimal seconds. These values are separated by a decimal point. Latitudes must be prefixed with an N or an S, for latitudes north or south of the equator, respectively. Longitudes must be prefixed with a W or an E, for longitudes west or east of the prime meridian (zero degrees longitude,) respectively.


So there are strict format rules.. Maybe if this format 19.004378 54.343021 is not valid, where then I can get valid coastline data?



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You'd want to write a script to do this. Most Divisions/AACs/ARTCCs will utilize a master database with info extracted with a script from various sources, such as AIP. From the database, sector files would be produced.

David Zhong

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This program will do it and plus more in building a sector file


IvAc Builder is an add-on that converts Google Earth and NGDC-GSHHG NOAA data, capture IvAc1 data, import and properly format all current AIRAC data (provided via direct network access), calculates coordinates of complex forms (circle arcs, procedure turns, racetrack, etc), makes graphical label data and exports them via the clipboard to the sector text file; can also link to FS/P3D or X-plane via FSUIPC or XPUIPC to import ground shapes.


Goto this link http://www.aero.sors.fr/ivac.html


THe above link has been updated.

Edited by Guest

Ray Lang

Vatsim Senior Supervisor

Pacific Oceanic Partnership Admin

Have a question? Email [email protected]


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  • 3 years later...
  • 8 months later...

Hello Miguel, it seems to me that NOAA resource has been closed.

What can you suggest in order to contnue drawing the coastline using your wonderful program?

VATRUS Division Director, Supervisor

RU-CEN_FSS - CIS Central Asia FSS ("Asia-Center")

Email: director(at)vatrus.info

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The program is now available by installation. See this website:




At the bottom click on the link:

Download GEODAS-NG Software Ver 1.1.3


Open the program and choose "Coastline Extractor" on the left.


For the data you can use the following files (download, unzip and place them in the GEODAS folder for instance):


Then choose "Coastlines+ -> Import Coast Shapefiles". Go to the directory from the ZIP above and open:

GSHHS_shp folder. Inside you have a few letters. "h" stands for hi resolution, "f" for full resolution. "i" is a medium resolution and "l" is low resolution. Depending on the sector size you will have to decide which one to use. I'd select "i", maybe.


If you want a smaller, legacy (no updates) bundle, then use:



After that, using the program should be pretty much straightforward.


After drawing the coastline choose "File -> Save As..." and the option:

GMT/ASCII Coast Format.


This will create a ".dat" file. Place this file inside a ZIP and then use my Euroscope tool as usual.

Miguel Frias

Senior Instructor (I3) & Certified Pilot (P4), ZLA I-11 graduate

Portugal vACC Training Director (ACCPT2), VATEUD Operations Director (VATEUD8)



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  • 3 weeks later...



Thanks for the extensive description. Unfortunately, the first ZIP link doesn't work and the second one doesn't contain any .shp files that could be imported into the coastline extractor. Therefore, I want to add a link to where the latest ZIP file can be found, which I think is more useful than directly linking to the ZIP itself: http://www.ngdc.noaa.gov/mgg/shorelines/data/gshhg/latest/


Of course, the file called gshhg-shp-.....zip should be downloaded from there.


Also, since you mentioned "then use my Euroscope tool as usual", would you please post a link to those tools here?

NYARTCC Facility Engineer and Instructor



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