How to convert .shp to Erdas .aoi

We all know .aoi is quite helpful in various cases, like defining an area, extent, points and many more. It is also essential when you geometrically correct an image. .shp on the otherhand is a very well known vector file system around the globe. Just like many other GIS software, you can open .shp in Erdas. But Erdas wont let you doing .aoi things with .shp easily. This post describes the classic technique to convert .shp to .aoi easily. You’ll be surprised how easy it is with Erdas Imagine.  

We start with the collecting the shape file (.shp) we want to work with. A plenty of us know that vector files like these are easy to work and handle with when it comes to doing geoprocessing and making pretty maps. Consider ArcGIS Desktop or QGIS if you start doing your job like a dream. A lot of us also use Erdas Imagine as their primary software for satellite image processing and photogammetry. Yes you are like me!

Start with opening your Erdas Imagine like this.

Open your image.

now your .shp. The software will greet a shape file as vector layer.

click the .shp to highlight it. See that the vector ribbon is active.

copy with the ‘copy’ button not ctrl+c even when you adore it.

paste with ‘paste’ button,

there you are! Now save the .aoi.


  1. hello,
    I want to covert shapefile of canal distributeries into aoi. But not able to. and there a message box is coming ” inside a viewer to select. layer to copy the selected elements from”. kindly help me to solve this problem.

    • First of all, check if the projection system of the file is ok. You can try several things – try putting a raster file behind the shapefile. The raster must be of same projection system of that file. If does’t work, subdivide the shapefile to smaller pieces and then try to convert. If still does’t work, try some other shapefile to convert. Try different zoom level. If none of these work, probably the shapefile or the software or the pc itself in not ok.

  2. Hi, thanks for the post. I want to convert AOIs to shapefile, but I dont have access to ERDAS Imagine. Is there any software other than ERDAS Imagine which could read AOI files. I have access to ArcGIS, QGIS, ENVI, ILWIS, PolSARPro, SNAP.

    • Hello Mohit, probably AOI is a proprietary format only usable inside ERDAS. I haven’t seen any use of this format outside ERDAS. I’ll let you know if see any.