Table of common geospatial data formats

The following is a short list of the most common file formats you come across when working with geospatial data. A more comprehensive list can be found at

format nameFile exertionDescriptionUsed by
GeoPackage*.gpkgA geopackage is a file database that can contain multiple layers of both vector and raster data For QGIS the geopackage has become the default file format,QGIS, ArcGIS
Personal Geodatabase*.gdbThe personal Geodatabase can like the geopackage contain multiple vector and raster layers the file format is the default for ArcGIS. Note that a personal geodatabase is a folder not a file with the extension .gdb.ArcGIS, QGIS
Shape files*.shp, dbf …A legacy file format for vector data. A shape file consists of several files with the same filename but different extensionsQGIS, ArcGIS, and many other
Mapinfo files*.tabA legacy file format used by the Mapinfo software (Can be converted for use in QGIS and ArcGIS pro) 
Geo TIFF*.tiffA common tif (image) fill with some extra information that enables it to store raster dataQGIS, ArcGIS and many others
Laser filesLas or lazBinary format for storing Lidar point (elevation dat)QGIS, ArcGIS CloudCompare
Geography Markup Language (GML)*.GMLXml file format for vector dataQGIS, ArcGIS
GeoJSON/ TopoJSON*.jsonVector data in JavaScript Object Notation (typically used in web based applications and services)QGIS, ArcGIS
Spreadsheet data*.csv, *.xlsx *.tabSpreadsheet data is often used when mapping statistical data such as GDP per Capita.