[Qgis-developer] Get rid of Shapefiles ! Go GeoJSON !

kimaidou kimaidou at gmail.com
Mon Nov 26 07:12:02 PST 2012

Hi list,

The subject is a bit polemical, on purpose. I am used to playing with
Postgis, spatialite and GeoJson, which are all open-source ways to store
spatial data.

I am very frustrated by the limitations of the Shapefile format, and much
more by the quasi obligation to use it as the default vector format in
QGIS. I mean for non power users who do not use PostGIS or spatialite.

Correct me if I am wrong, but Shapefile is at present the only non database
format QGIS can edit, speaking of structure : columns addition and
deletion, etc.
But Shapefile is very limited in my point of view compared to database
storage : I cannot rename a column, my column name are truncated to keep
under 10 letters, etc.

I would love to see GeoJSON (and potentially topoJson [1] ) as the format
officially used by QGIS. I am always confused during courses when I spend
time learning people how to adapt to Shapefile limitations. And the users
can be a bit puzzled to use Shapefile coming from ESRI with an opensource
software. I know OCG reckon Shapefile as a standard format...but still...

Some work has to be done to be able to use GeoJSON in QGIS the way I want:
* GeoJson can have multiple geometry types in the same files / QGIS cannot
handle them  -> not a big deal, let use only one geometry type per geojson
* We must write down a specific driver which handle it --> doing so, we
would have a very powerful tool, and we could implement topoJson to improve
performance (and add the ability to create a spatial index too)

What I would like to be able to do
* open a GeoJSON, and edit it with QGIS
* Modify the structure with no limitations :
- long column names if I want to (I prefer to choose myself and can be wise
enough not to use something crazy)
- rename columns
- reorder columns
- change a column type from string to integer, float/integer, whatever if
the data is compatible, warn if not possible
- etc.

I would love to hear from you about this idea. Am I the only one frustrated
by the current situation ?


[1] https://github.com/mbostock/topojson
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://lists.osgeo.org/pipermail/qgis-developer/attachments/20121126/42c4254d/attachment.html>

More information about the Qgis-developer mailing list