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Convert structure array to geospatial table

Since R2021b



GT = struct2geotable(S) converts the structure array S to a geospatial table GT. The function creates the Shape variable of GT by using the latitude-longitude or x-y coordinates in S. Each field of S is a variable of GT.

GT = struct2geotable(S,coordinateSystemType,fnames) creates the Shape variable of GT by using the coordinate system type coordinateSystemType and structure array fields fnames.

GT = struct2geotable(S,Name=Value) specifies options using name-value arguments. For example, specify that coordinates represent points, lines, or polygons by using the GeometryType name-value argument.


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Read a shapefile containing hydrographic data for Concord, MA, as a structure array. Import only the polygons with an area greater than 100 square kilometers. The x- and y-coordinates are in the X and Y fields of the structure.

areafilterfcn = @(areafilter) (areafilter > 100000);
S = shaperead("concord_hydro_area.shp", ...

Get the coordinate reference system for the data.

info = shapeinfo("concord_hydro_area.shp");
crs = info.CoordinateReferenceSystem;

Convert the structure array to a geospatial table. The struct2geotable function detects the X and Y fields and uses them to create the Shape variable. Specify the coordinate reference system for the Shape variable.

GT = struct2geotable(S, ...

View the shape object in the second row of the table. Shape object properties contain information such as the number of holes.

ans = 
  mappolyshape with properties:

              NumRegions: 1
                NumHoles: 3
                Geometry: "polygon"
    CoordinateSystemType: "planar"
            ProjectedCRS: [1x1 projcrs]

Display the polygons.


Create a sample structure array containing the locations of cities. The Lats field contains latitudes, the Lons field contains longitudes, and the Names field contains names.

lats = {35.7082,-22.8842,51.5074,39.9042,37.9838};
lons = {139.6401,-43.3882,-0.1278,116.4074,23.7275};
n = {'Tokyo','Rio de Janeiro','London','Beijing','Athens'};
S = cell2struct([lats;lons;n],{'Lats','Lons','Names'},1)
S=5×1 struct array with fields:

Convert the structure array to a geospatial table. The struct2geotable function does not automatically detect the field names Lats and Lons. Specify the coordinate system type as "geographic" and the field names containing the coordinates.

GT = struct2geotable(S,"geographic",["Lats" "Lons"])
GT=5×4 table
             Shape              Lats       Lons            Names       
    _______________________    _______    _______    __________________

    (35.7082°N, 139.6401°E)     35.708     139.64    {'Tokyo'         }
    (22.8842°S,  43.3882°W)    -22.884    -43.388    {'Rio de Janeiro'}
    (51.5074°N,   0.1278°W)     51.507    -0.1278    {'London'        }
    (39.9042°N, 116.4074°E)     39.904     116.41    {'Beijing'       }
    (37.9838°N,  23.7275°E)     37.984     23.727    {'Athens'        }

View the Shape variable of the geospatial table.

ans = 
  5x1 geopointshape array with properties:

               NumPoints: [5x1 double]
                Latitude: [5x1 double]
               Longitude: [5x1 double]
                Geometry: "point"
    CoordinateSystemType: "geographic"
           GeographicCRS: []

Input Arguments

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Input structure array.

The struct2geotable function detects the coordinates when the structure array fields have these names, ignoring case.

  • Latitude coordinates — Latitude or Lat

  • Longitude coordinates — Longitude, Lon, or Long

  • x-coordinates — X

  • y-coordinates — Y

If you specify an input structure array with a field called Shape, then the struct2geotable function overwrites it.

Data Types: struct

Coordinate system type, specified as one of these options:

  • "planar" — Coordinates are in a planar coordinate system.

  • "geographic" — Coordinates are in a geographic coordinate system.

Data Types: string

Names of the structure array fields used to create the Shape variable of the geospatial table, specified as a two-element string vector, such as ["Lats" "Lons"]. The fields contain latitude-longitude or x-y coordinates.

Data Types: string

Name-Value Arguments

Specify optional pairs of arguments as Name1=Value1,...,NameN=ValueN, where Name is the argument name and Value is the corresponding value. Name-value arguments must appear after other arguments, but the order of the pairs does not matter.

Example: struct2geotable(S,CoordinateReferenceSystem=geocrs(4326)) specifies the geographic CRS as the World Geodetic System of 1984, which has EPSG code 4326.

Coordinate reference system (CRS) to use when creating the Shape variable of the geospatial table, specified as a projcrs or geocrs object.

Specify a projcrs object when coordinateSystemType is "planar" and specify a geocrs object when coordinateSystemType is "geographic".

Geometry type of the coordinate fields, specified as one of these options:

  • "point" — The coordinate fields represent points.

  • "line" — The coordinate fields represent lines.

  • "polygon" — The coordinate fields represent polygons.

When you specify the geometry type as "polygon", the struct2geotable function assumes that the coordinates define polygons with a valid topology. A polygon has a valid topology when:

  • Region interiors are to the right as you trace boundaries from vertex to vertex.

  • The boundaries have no self-intersections.

In general, the outer boundaries of polygons with a valid topology have vertices in a clockwise order and the interior holes have vertices in a counterclockwise order.

The struct2geotable function detects the geometry type when the input structure array has a Geometry field with a value of 'Point', 'Multipoint', 'Line', or 'Polygon'.

Output Arguments

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Output geospatial table. A geospatial table is a table or timetable object with a Shape variable that contains geopointshape, geolineshape, geopolyshape, mappointshape, maplineshape, or mappolyshape objects.

For an input structure array with M elements and N fields, the size of GT is M-by-(N + 1).


  • When the input structure has latitude-longitude fields and x-y fields, the struct2geotable function creates the geospatial table using the latitude-longitude fields. Create the geospatial table using the x-y fields by specifying the coordinateSystemType and fnames arguments.

  • When you know that a shapefile contains latitude and longitude coordinates and read the shapefile using the shaperead function, you must specify the UseGeoCoords argument as true. Otherwise, the structure array contains X and Y fields instead of Lat and Lon fields. As a result, the struct2geotable function creates the Shape variable of the geospatial table using planar shape objects such as mappointshape instead of geographic shape objects such as geopointshape.

Version History

Introduced in R2021b