Instrument file formats

Echoview supports data files produced by various echosounders and sonars. Follow these links for further information specific to individual manufacturers and other supported file formats:

Other supported file formats

3D data files (.wrl, .epl, .csv, .xyz, .xyzi) and volume data set (.dat, .raw)

Echoview also supports these file formats for 3D objects.

3D object




.csv, .xyz, .xyzi

.csv, .wrl



3D region

.csv, .wrl, (.dat, .raw)

3D region tracks


3D single targets


3D fish tracks


3D polylines



See Importing 3D objects, Export file formats for more information.

3D Object files (.obj) and associate material files (.mtl)

Echoview supports these file formats for 3D objects, which may be imported and added to scenes. These objects can then be viewed in 3D space with other 3D objects that were created in Echoview from survey data. 3D objects can be imported as 3D models, 3D regions, and surfaces.

.obj files define a series of vertices for each object and a series of faces made up of selected vertices. Each vertex has three coordinates on orthogonal X, Y and Z axes respectively. For example, a sample line from a .obj file is:

v 5.169832 1.062485 -2.562430

See Importing 3D model objects, Supported features of .obj and .mtl files for more information. A specification of the .obj format can be found here:

Wikipedia. (2017) Wavefront .obj file [ONLINE] Available at

Warning: Echoview assumes that all faces have vertices listed in clockwise order as seen by a viewer standing inside the object looking out towards the face (termed: clockwise winding). This is a standard form of object representation in 3D graphics. If this is not the case, some metrics will be calculated incorrectly, notably volumes may be negative if all faces are recorded with the opposite winding.

Raster image files (.jpg, .jpeg, .bmp, .png, .tif, .tiff) and associated ESRI World files (.jgw, .jpegw, .tfw, .tiffw)

Echoview supports these raster image file formats for importing and exporting images. ESRI World files are optional, separate files that contain information that can be used to position an associated raster image in 3D space.

Surface file formats (.csv, .xyz, .xyzi)

.csv files

The .csv file must contain:

  • a header row (Latitude, Longitude, Depth), and
  • a row for each point in the surface that defines:
    • latitude (decimal degrees)
    • longitude (decimal degrees)
    • depth information (meters)

You can create these files from scratch or by modifying an exported surface.

.xyz files

Each line represents one point on the surface. The order of the points is not relevant, Echoview triangulates a network of triangles from this data. Each line contains the following three values:

  • Longitude (decimal degrees) or easting (m)

  • Latitude (decimal degrees) or northing (m)

  • Altitude (m)

Values may be comma, space or tab delimited.

Settings for importing .xyz files are entered on the XYZI File Interpretation dialog box which will open for all imported files of this type.

Note:Positional data may be encoded in longitude/latitude or easting/northing pairs in .xyz files. Echoview imports either format of georeferencing data in .XYZ files.

Hint:High resolution xyz files for continental USA coastal areas can be downloaded from the National Centers For Environmental Information website. This website may contain xyz files for international areas, but the data is provided at a lower resolution and is not useful for most applications.

.xyzi files

The same as .xyz file but with an extra intensity value per line and position may optionally be interpreted as eastings and northings (as opposed to longitudes and latitudes) - see About mapping and projections for more information.

Settings for importing .xyzi files are entered on the XYZI File Interpretation dialog box which will open for all imported files of this type.

The file may contain an optional header line, and it is the contents of the first line which determine if Echoview will read the X and Y data as longitude and latitude or eastings and northings.

If the first line commences with the letter L, it is assumed the file contains longitude, latitude, altitude and intensity values. If it commences with the letter E it is assumed the file contains eastings, northings, altitude and intensity values. If the first line does not commend with L or E it is examined for a legal set of longitude and latitude values, and if found the file is assumed to contain longitude, latitude, altitude and intensity values, otherwise it is assumed to contain eastings, northings, altitude and intensity values.

Longitudes and latitudes are specified in decimal degrees, eastings and northings in meters from a reference point. Positive values are north and east, negative values are south and west. Depths and altitudes are in meters. Intensity values can be used to color the surface when it is displayed in Echoview - see Import surface dialog box.

Note:Echoview exports positional data as latitude/longitude pairs, and allows for re-import from .csv files as latitude/longitude pairs. In .xyzi files positional data is encoded in longitude/latitude pairs or eastings/northings.

WMS files (.png)

Echoview caches WMS maps as image files, when Precache maps is selected on the Mapping page of the EV File Properties dialog box. For more information refer to Precache maps settings.

See also

Echoview file formats
Export file formats
Other file formats
International character support