MapInfo datasets in native (TAB) format and in interchange (MIF/MID) format are supported for reading and writing. Update of existing files is not currently supported.
Note: In the rest of this document "MIF/MID File" is used to refer to a pair of .MIF + .MID files, and "TAB file" refers to the set of files for a MapInfo table in binary form (usually with extensions .TAB, .DAT, .MAP, .ID, .IND).
The MapInfo driver treats a whole directory of files as a dataset, and a single file within that directory as a layer. In this case the directory name should be used as the dataset name.
However, it is also possible to use one of the files (.tab or .mif) in a MapInfo set as the dataset name, and then it will be treated as a dataset with one single layer.
MapInfo coordinate system information is supported for reading and writing.
The TAB File format requires that the bounds (geographical extents) of a new file be set before writing the first feature. However, there is currently no clean mechanism to set the default bounds of a new file through the OGRDataSource interface.
We should fix the driver at some point to set valid default bounds for each projection, but for the time being, the MapInfo driver sets the following default bounds when a new layer is created:
Starting with GDAL 2.0, it is possible to specify a user-defined file that contain projection definitions with bounds. The name of this file must be specified with the MITAB_BOUNDS_FILE configuration option. This allows users to override the default bounds for existing projections, and to define bounds for new projections not listed in the hard-coded table in the driver. The format of the file is a simple text file with one CoordSys string per line. The CoordSys lines should follow the MIF specs, and MUST include the optional Bounds definition at the end of the line, e.g.
# Lambert 93 French bounds CoordSys Earth Projection 3, 33, "m", 3, 46.5, 44, 49, 700000, 6600000 Bounds (75000, 6000000) (1275000, 7200000)
If no coordinate system is provided when creating a layer, the projection case is used, not geographic, which can result in very low precision if the coordinates really are geographic. You can add "-a_srs WGS84" to the ogr2ogr commandline during a translation to force geographic mode.
MapInfo feature attributes suffer a number of limitations:
Before v1.8.0 , the driver was incorrectly using a "." as the delimiter for id: parameters and starting with v1.8.0 the driver uses a comma as the delimiter was per the OGR Feature Style Specification.