HydroSHEDS data are provided in common Geographic Information System (GIS) formats including GeoTIFF, shapefiles, and geodatabases. Therefore, dedicated GIS software is needed to open and display the HydroSHEDS data. If you do not have a GIS installed, free software packages are available, such as QGIS, Whitebox-GAT, or SAGA. Some online mapping portals also allow for the import of GeoTIFFs or shapefiles, such as Google Earth.
Some of the raster data (provided in GeoTIFF format) can, in principle, be displayed using image processing software such as photo viewers, but the file size of larger raster datasets may exceed given software limits. The attribute information contained in shapefiles (stored in the associated *.dbf file) may be imported and opened in standard spreadsheet software, such as Excel.