Tips for Arc users
Working with your ArcGIS data
Importing ArcGIS Data
Grass provides convertors for importing ESRI shapefiles, e00 files, and many other GIS formats as well. The key Grass programs for importing vector formats are v.in.ogr (for ESRI shapefiles, MapInfo files, SDTS, TIGER, etc.) and v.in.e00 for e00 format.
Example 1: Import of Shapefiles into Grass
v.in.ogr dsn=/home/data/navigation_files output=Tracklines layer=Ship_Tracklines
This is the syntax for v.in.ogr in its most basic form. The dsn parameter corresponds to the directory path of the vector you are trying to import. You must enter a full path, not a relative path. The output paramter, aptly enough, is the name of your output Grass vector. The layer parameter is the name of the input vector, be it shapefile, MapInfo file, or what have you.