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

Barry Rowlingson b.rowlingson at lancaster.ac.uk
Mon Nov 26 07:31:51 PST 2012

On Mon, Nov 26, 2012 at 3:12 PM, kimaidou <kimaidou at gmail.com> wrote:
> 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
> file
> * 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 ?
> Cheers,
> Michael
> [1] https://github.com/mbostock/topojson

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