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

Jason Birch Jason.Birch at nanaimo.ca
Tue Nov 13 09:29:33 PST 2007

Landon wrote:
I really think you are going to run into problems using the "Shapefile"
as part of the trademark or name for any product not sold by ESRI. I
strongly recommend against this move.

I'm not a lawyer, but I really doubt that shapefile is unique enough to
be subject to trademark.  Initial searches of TESS don't show up
anything either.

That said, I don't think that shapefile should be used anywhere in an
open format name _because_ it's too generic and will cause confusion.

As my initial blog entry mentioned, I had (have?) pretty high hopes for
SDF.  It's extremely fast (native rtree), contains multiple tables in a
single file, supports complex geometries (arcs, aggregates, etc),
includes native schema definition, etc...  However... while some initial
marketing materials marked SDF as an open format, I have been unable to
obtain any clarification from Autodesk on the file specification or
openness of SDF.  As well, there are some limitations; in the quest for
speed, SDF is only using the SQLite table access mechanisms, not the
entire relational layer (or something like that).  

For reference, most of the interesting parts of the SDF Provider,
including the Rtree implementation, are available here:



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