[OSGeo-Discuss] idea for an OSGeo project -- a new, open data format

Dave McIlhagga dmcilhagga at dmsolutions.ca
Tue Nov 13 07:39:33 PST 2007


I believe you've just described the SDF format (open, based on SQL  
lite) that is currently in use by FDO / MapGuide.

Some info from a post from Jason Birch a while back:

"To bring us back to the start of this post, the one item on this  
list that I think may get overlooked is support for the Spatial Data  
File (SDF) format. SDF is a single-user database format, similar to  
ESRI’s personal geodatabase. It is built on top of SQLite, is fully  
open, and is already supported by MapGuide Open Source and (yay!)  
Safe Software’s current FME betas."



On 13-Nov-07, at 9:52 AM, P Kishor wrote:

> So, I am thinking, Shapefile is the de facto data standard for GIS
> data. That it is open (albeit not Free) along with the deep and wide
> presence of ESRI's products from the beginning of the epoch, it has
> been widely adopted. Existence of shapelib, various language bindings,
> and ready use by products such as MapServer has continued to cement
> Shapefile as the format to use. All this is in spite of Shapefile's
> inherent drawbacks, particularly in the area of attribute data
> management.
> What if we came up with a new and improved data format -- call it
> "Open Shapefile" (extension .osh) -- that would be completely Free,
> single-file based (instead of the multiple .shp, .dbf, .shx, etc.),
> and based on SQLite, giving the .osh format complete relational data
> handling capabilities. We would require a new version of Shapelib,
> improved language bindings, make it the default and preferred format
> for MapServer, and provide seamless and painless import of regular
> .shp data into .osh for native rendering. Its adoption would be quick
> in the open source community. The non-opensource community would
> either not give a rat's behind for it, but it wouldn't affect them...
> they would still work with their preferred .shp until they learned
> better. By having a completely open and Free single-file based, built
> on SQLite, fully relational dbms capable spatial data format, it would
> be positioned for continued improvement and development.
> Is this too crazy?
> -- 
> Puneet Kishor
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> Discuss at lists.osgeo.org
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