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

Landon Blake lblake at ksninc.com
Wed Nov 14 09:12:14 PST 2007

Puneet wrote: "Shall we focus on the technical limitations of Shapefiles
in order to keep moving forward?"

I was going to add a couple of limitations in addition to the
limitations of attribute data brought on by use of a DBF file as a
storage container:

[1] No way to store simple topology.
[2] No way to store features with different schema and/or different
geometry representations in the same file.
[3] No way to store labeling or annotation.

I'm not sure if you would want to do all of this with a new file format,
but I know its limitations of the Shapefile format that I have run into
in the past.


P.S. - This is probably a crazy idea, but has anyone ever considered
talking to ESRI about cooperating on an update Shapefile spec?

-----Original Message-----
From: discuss-bounces at lists.osgeo.org
[mailto:discuss-bounces at lists.osgeo.org] On Behalf Of P Kishor
Sent: Wednesday, November 14, 2007 9:06 AM
To: bitner at gyttja.org
Cc: OSGeo Discussions
Subject: Re: [OSGeo-Discuss] Re: idea for an OSGeo project -- a new,open
data format

On 11/14/07, David William Bitner <david.bitner at gmail.com> wrote:
> >
> >
> >
> > I never (I think I never did) argued that Shapefile is not open. I
> > argued that it is not Free. I could be wrong.
> >
> >
> > >
> Here's the open published specification:
> http://www.esri.com/library/whitepapers/pdfs/shapefile.pdf

yes, I am aware of this, and have used it on and off over the past

> Do what you will with it.  I don't know in this case what you imply by
>  Might ESRI make changes in the future that they don't publish?
Maybe, but
> at this version of shapefiles -- that are pervasive throughout the
> I would doubt they would forgo backwards compatibility and this
version of
> the specification is out there and free and open as far as I can tell.

ok, so there may or may not be an issue. I did bring it up, and so I
risk the discussion focusing on this aspect too much. Let's forget
about this aspect for now.

Shall we focus on the technical limitations of Shapefiles in order to
keep moving forward?

Many thanks,

Discuss mailing list
Discuss at lists.osgeo.org

Information provided via electronic media is not guaranteed against defects including translation and transmission errors. If the reader is not the intended recipient, you are hereby notified that any dissemination, distribution or copying of this communication is strictly prohibited. If you have received this information in error, please notify the sender immediately.

More information about the Discuss mailing list