Panorama (SXF)

Long name Panorama vector binary format
Short name SXF
File extension(s) .sxf
Version 4.0 and higher


The SXF format was first developed in 1992 by the Topographic Service of the Russian Armed Forces and later adopted as a main digital exchange format in Russia. SXF is an open interchange format used for storage of digital topographic and navigational maps and town plans, and for better maintenance of their archives.


To preserve data integrity, all data is contained in a single SXF file. All information about a particular object (record) is stored in a separate address and contains no links to other parts of the file. The failure of a single object does not affect other objects.

The SXF format provides storage of space-logical relations in the semantics of objects. An object can also contain or group sub-objects.


Object types can be one of the following:
  • Point
  • Line
  • Polygon
  • Signature
  • Graphic
  • Vector 3D-binding

A signature object is similar to a Point, Line, or Polygon object, but with a signature associated with it. For all objects, the position can be a map coordinate or device coordinate with different accuracy.

For more information, see (in Russian).

GDB supports point, line, and signature object types. Graphic and vector 3D binding objects are not supported.

Each object type is categorized as a GDB layer. At most, four GDB layers can be created for a SXF file as a Point layer, Line layer, Polygon Layer, and Text layer. Each object in an SXF file is converted to a GDB shape allocated to a different GDB layer according to its type, and each shape has its own vertex and attributes.

For an object with sub-objects, all its sub-objects are added as its rings. Coordinates are read in based on encoding size, but any coordinate converting is ignored.

For a complex signature object with sub-objects, all its sub-signatures are ignored.

Two common attributes are added for each GDB layer:
  • ObjectID
  • ClassificationCode

Attribute values are obtained from each object in the file.

Any graphic display representation is ignored; for example, dash line, line width, signature position, ASCII/ANSI decoding.

The SXF format is read only.

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