Sorts an Esri shapefile based on a single column in ascending or descending order. Supports INTEGER, DOUBLE and STRING column types. Useful for prioritizing shapes for rendering and/or labeling.


The idea here is that if you know that you need to display a certain attribute classed by a certain value, it will be faster for MapServer to access that value if it is at the beginning of the attribute file.


sortshp [infile] [outfile] [item] [ascending|descending]


This example uses a roads file (roads_ugl) that has a field with road classes in integer format (class1).

sortshp roads_ugl roads-sort class1 ascending


A new shapefile named roads-sort.shp is created with shapes sorted in ascending order, according to the values in the class1 field, as shown below.

Figure1: Attributes Before sortshp


Figure2: Attributes After sortshp