Published Rover Map Files


Published vector maps in the Partner ROVER format are one of the largest, most complex, and most important components of the Partner system. They typically form the background and reference for everything a user does in Partner.

These maps are stored in a proprietary, binary format optimized for display and access speed on a variety of devices and operating systems. The files are generated by the Map Publisher tool, and then updated to other Partner installs through the Update framework.

Here we will describe the published ROVER filesystem and the role and format of its component files.


Here is a typical installation:


And here is the config directory expanded:



ROVER filesets are divided by their associated mapset. The mapset name is the one displayed in all menus, preferences, etc.

The root directory of each ROVER fileset is maps/FOO/, where FOO is the mapset name. In our example above, the ROVER files for mapset “Fractal” are therefore stored in maps/Fractal/.

Update Packaging

In the Update framework, individual ROVER filesets are packed separately in packages named maps-FOO.boxcar.gz, where FOO is once again the mapset name. For example, maps-Fractal.boxcar.gz.

File Types

File types are distinguished by extension. The majority of files, other than icons and XML config, are in proprietary, binary formats used only by Partner.

Here are the industry-standard types, by extension:

  • .xml - XML Cog configuration, generally of map styles;
  • .csv - CSV formatted tabular configuration; and
  • .png - PNG image file, a standard image format, generally used for point icons.

And here are the proprietary Partner binary types, by extension:

  • .packrat - a general-purpose data and configuration format;
  • .rover_index - general-purpose external index format associated with other .rover_FOO format files;
  • .rover_find - current file-based find item index format;
  • .rover_connectivity - current connectivity data format;



The root directory of the filesystem typically only has a single file, mapset.packrat. This file contains some top-level configuration for the ROVER set.


This is mapset configuration. It follows the same format and organization as dynamic mapsets stored in config/FOO/mapsets/BAR/.


These are icons used in point styles and line decorators. They can be in JPEG, GIF, or PNG format, but PNG is the standard and preferred format.


Generally only one file is found here, module.txt. This indicates the module associated with the mapset; note that often that module is not installed on user installations since it only exists on the publisher machine.


Mapset legend files in Cog XML format.


Map style files in Cog XML format. They are separated into directories by map geometry type.


This is the translator directory from the Map Publisher’s config for this mapset. It is renamed to prevent the Map Viewer from using it during published viewing, but left in to provide a reference and backup.


Settings file for the mapset, in Cog XML format.


Connectivity files, in a binary format. Currently there is only one connectivity defined, “Electrical”, and two files containing it - Electrical.rover_connectivity and Electrical.rover_index.


Map data files, in a binary format. This is the data displayed when a map data item is selected.

There are four files:

  • data.packrat - largest, containing the actual data;
  • datatypes.packrat - binary version of data type definitions;
  • DataTypeFields.csv - text version of data type definitions;
  • hilites.packrat - contains the shapes associated with each data item for highlighting and other purposes.


Find item files in a binary format.

Each find item has a correspondingly named file here, containing the sorted search index data.


There may be a subdirectory here, substring/. Files in that subdirectory generally match the ones in the main finds/ directory, but with extra indexing data to support substring searches.


Binary definitions for map graphic types. There are four:

  • area.packrat
  • line.packrat
  • point.packrat
  • text.packrat


Tiled ROVER binary graphics, divided into levels-of-detail (LODs). Each LOD has a subdirectory (e.g. tiles/0) named after the LOD number.

Inside each LOD subdirectory, there will be one or more files containing the tiles in a binary format, with one file per map geometry type.

For example:

  • tiles/0/points.packrat - point tiles for LOD 0
  • tiles/0/polylines.packrat - polyline tiles for LOD 0
  • tiles/0/text.packrat - text tiles for LOD 0
  • tiles/0/polygons.packrat - polygon tiles for LOD 0
  • tiles/1/points.packrat - point tiles for LOD 1
  • tiles/1/polylines.packrat - polyline tiles for LOD 1

... and so forth.