Error selecting shapefile in ModelBuilder "Invalid Esri ShapeType" and "Data source is empty or contains cross referenced data"

Product(s): WaterGEMS, WaterCAD, HAMMER, SewerGEMS, StormCAD, CivilStorm, SewerCAD
Version(s): 08.11.XX.XX and 10.XX.XX.XX
Area: Layout and Data Input


When selecting a Shapefiles in ModelBuilder the following errors appear.

  • Invalid Esri ShapeType
  • Data source is empty or contains cross referenced data

When running LoadBuilder a message appears that says "The file selected is not of the specified type".


ModelBuilder cannot currently process multi-feature data type files.

LoadBuilder expects specific shapefile types for different methods. 



1. To use a Shapefile, it is required that the folder containing the .shp file also contains (at a minimum) the supporting .shx  and .dbf files. Make sure these three files are in the same folder.

2. Make sure the .shp and supporting files (ie. .shx, .dbf) files have matching names.

3. Create a new copy of the Shapefile

Open the Shapefile in ArcMap

Export it to a new Shapefile

Try using that new Shapefile in ModelBuilder.

4. Convert Multipoint to Single Point

a. Open the file in ArcMap and right click on the layer name in the table of contents.

b. Open the attribute table and check to see if the file is a multipoint, multiline, or has another mutli- feature data type. Continue to step c if it is a multi- feature data type file.

c. Open ArcToolbox and open the "Multipoint to single point" geoprocessing tool.

d. Input the file that you having problems with and run that tool. This will convert the file to a regular single feature data type.

e. Try to use the newly created file in ModelBuilder

5. If the file type is a geodatabase or ArcSDE file, export the files that are needed to a shapefile and use the shapefile with ModelBuilder.

Steps to Resolve for LoadBuilder

For Billing Meter, Flow Monitoring, Flow Boundary and Population Layer's Loadbuilder is expecting a polygon Shapefile.

For Node Layers LoadBuilder is expecting a point Shapefile type.  

See Also

Wikipedia: Shapefiles

Error importing in ModelBuilder from ProjectWise: Invalid ESRI Shapefile

Importing external data using ModelBuilder - Building and updating