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Outlines how to connect to an Oracle Spatial databases with MapInfo. Important for NT Government staff due to the fact that a large number of NTG spatial datasets are now available in Oracle dissemination databases. Note this document is relevant to NT Goverment users, direct connection to the databases is not available outside of the NTG network.


NTLIS encourages all government users of MapInfo to connect directly to our Spatial Dissemination Databases for read-only layers such as cadastre, roads, boundaries, bores etc. Connecting to these databases instead of extracting and storing local copies in TAB files ensures your data is current and complete.

Note this document is only relevant to NT Goverment users, as direct connection to the dissemination databases is not available outside of the NTG network.

Configuring your machine for Oracle connectivity

Before you connect to oracle using any application (FME, MapInfo etc) you will need to:

  • install an Oracle Client, preferably the Oracle Instant Client (eg. 10.x., 11g)
  • setup the client by building your TNSNAMES.ORA file.

Information for these items can be found in the Spatial Dissemination Databases of the NT Government document.

Connecting to Dissemination Databases to download tables

In order to retrieve a table from a remote database a oracle spatial connection needs to be performed. Your connection to a dissemination database is always read-only, if you need to modify a table you must save a local copy.

To make a new DBMS connection:

1. Choose File > Open DBMS Connection. The Open DBMS Connection dialog box displays.

2.  Choose either ODBC or Oracle Spatial from the Connection Type drop-down list. If only one driver type is available the control is disabled and you go directly to the Select Data Source dialog box otherwise:

3.  Press the New button. The MapInfo Oracle Connect dialog box displays.

4.  Enter the username, password and server name for the spatial database you wish to connect to. The example below is for connecting to the DPI dissemination database. Note that sdb1prod should be defined in your TNSNAMES.ORA file.

Usernames and passwords can be found in the Spatial Dissemination Databases of the NT Government document.

5. Press OK to complete the connection.

6. After making the connection Choose File > Open.

7. The Open dialog box should be display. Choose the database you wish to open (eg. sdb1prod: 1 shown below) for the file type.

8. This should bring up all of the available tables in that database. You should choose the username you connected as in the Owner: select box at the top of the dialogue.

9. Double click the layer you wish to download.

10. The Open DBMS table option dialog box should appear. Choose standard mode, download data (link table) for the options and define a destination location for the TAB file.

11. Click OK.

Any questions, call GIS Support

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