[postgis-users] getting past the 254 character limit of .DBFs

David Fawcett david.fawcett at gmail.com
Fri May 7 14:30:03 PDT 2010

Have you thought about Sqlite/Spatialite?

It gives you a single-file relational database without the .dbf
limitations.  You can import shapefiles, edit the data in QGIS or
other applications.  You can hit it with tabular and spatial queries
from several programming languages, etc.


On Fri, May 7, 2010 at 3:09 PM, Stephen Woodbridge
<woodbri at swoodbridge.com> wrote:
> David Benjamin Lang Lang wrote:
>> I'm trying to join a table to a shapefile.  This table has three or
>> four columns that are longer than the 254 character limit, so when I
>> convert the table into a .DBF I lose a large portion of my data.  I
>> had hoped to use pgsql2shp as a work-around but that didn't work.
>> My end product will eventually be displayed online, so I'm thinking
>> that I could connect to the data using the webpage rather than the
>> map, and use the map as the method for linking the two, but I'd
>> rather not have to make each of the offending cells contain a refence
>> to another table.
>> Aside from postgres and postgis I've been using ArcMap and ArcCatalog
>> along with Excel.
>> Any help is appreciated. David
> The 254 char limit is just that! It is a limit in the spec you can not get
> around it in a shapefile. I think DBF file have the ability to define a memo
> field that can hold large blobs of text, but I have never seen one in a
> shapefile and I'm not sure that they are even support in the shapefile spec.
> You probably need to think about solving this problem outside the domain of
> shapefiles.
> -Steve W
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