[GRASS-user] Attribute table combination

Michael Barton michael.barton at asu.edu
Sat Jan 2 16:47:24 EST 2010

On Jan 2, 2010, at 10:00 AM, grass-user-request at lists.osgeo.org wrote:

> Date: Fri, 1 Jan 2010 16:37:27 -0800 (PST)
> From: Rich Shepard <rshepard at appl-ecosys.com>
> Subject: Re: [GRASS-user] Attribute table combination
> To: grass-user <grass-user at lists.osgeo.org>
> Message-ID:
> 	<alpine.LNX.2.00.1001011631170.14985 at salmo.appl-ecosys.com>
> Content-Type: TEXT/PLAIN; charset=US-ASCII; format=flowed
> On Fri, 1 Jan 2010, Lyle E. Browning wrote:
>> I'm trying to combine several attribute tables into one, or failing that,
>> get them into GRASS so that they can be queried. Is there an idiot level
>> explanation of how one takes a shape file and combines it with several
>> disparate attribute files such that one can then bring it into GRASS and
>> wreak havoc on the resultant dataset?
> Lyle,
>   I suggest that you don't want to combine all tables into a single table.
> Rather, create a relational database (I suggest using SQLite) that holds all
> the tables, one for each attribute category. You can learn about SQLite from
> the Web site, <http://www.sqlite.org/>. This rdbms creates a stand-alone
> file great for single-user use. It's used by Mozilla, Apple, and a bunch of
> other big names in software so you know it's a solid tool. It's a lot easier
> to learn, install, and administer than are client/server dbms's such as
> PostgreSQL.
>   If you need to learn how to build a database (e.g., data normalization)
> such information is readily available on the Web. SQLite is supported by
> Rich

To add to this, you can create multi-table (i.e., relational) queries and joins within GRASS using either command line tools or the new wxPython GUI.

Outside of GRASS, a handy free SQLite tool, SQLite Database Browser was just upgraded to Version 2.01 after 5 years of quiescence, and I found a good SQLite manager/browser for Firefox, SQLite Manager. Both are completely cross platform and simple to install and use. 

The OpenOffice database engine also has tools to do this. I'm not sure, but GRASS might read the OO database via ODBC.

C. Michael Barton
Director, Center for Social Dynamics & Complexity 
Professor of Anthropology, School of Human Evolution & Social Change
Arizona State University

Phone: 480-965-6262
Fax: 480-965-7671
www: www.public.asu.edu/~cmbarton, http://csdc.asu.edu

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