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

Michael P. Gerlek mpg at lizardtech.com
Wed Nov 14 08:59:20 PST 2007

> I find two problems with Shapefiles -- one, that it is not in public
> domain (I am not even sure of what licensing there is on it), and
> while ESRI is not likely to pull a Unisys on us, it just is
> philosophically better to free if possible. 

I don't see this as an issue at all -- legally speaking I don't think
ESRI has any grounds to attack anyone for using or implementing the
Shapefile format.  (and from a market standpoint too, it'd be a bad move
for them...)

> The second, more major
> problem is Shapefile's antiquated data technology. DBF is a royal pain
> in the derierre with its 10 char column name, no relational tables, no
> indexing of data constraints. The geometry part of Shapefiles seems to
> be pretty good and adequate; it is the data part that is the problem.

This, though, is more interesting.  There are some things in the
shapefile format that limit me today, and so I'm interested in


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