[OSGeo-Standards] Simple Text Format For Transfer of Simple Spatial Features (Killing the GML 3 Beast)

Raj Singh rsingh at opengeospatial.org
Mon Sep 3 22:43:16 EDT 2007

Let me suggest 3 options:
1. GML SF level 0: already mentioned many times

2. Atom+GeoRSS: simpler but much less powerful and expressive

3. BXFS (http://www.ogcnetwork.net/node/189): basically the "GML 2  
resurrected" idea mentioned below. This is an old proposal from the  
GML 2 days from Peter Vretanos. It does a lot of the things a  
shapefile does, and is a GML 2 profile I believe. Although there is  
an XML schema defined, it is abstract and doesn't apply to any  
particular data set. The schema of the data set is internal to the  
data--see the definition element in this example <http:// 
storetlegacy2_getfeature.xml> and note that data types could have  
optionally been specified.

On Aug 29, 2007, at 5:36 PM, Landon Blake wrote:

> A few days ago this came across the wire from Simone:
> “About GML, I am pretty sure that everybody that's been working  
> with the 3.x series can say that it is an ugly beast, big, complex,  
> unfriendly, hence I am not surprised that KML took over it due to  
> the fact that's pretty easy to use and implement especially for  
> simple needs.”
> I have no doubt that the complexity of GML 3 killed a lot of the  
> momentum behind what I thought GML 2 took a good stab at: A simple  
> text based file format for the transfer of simple spatial features.
> On the OpenJUMP developers mailing list we’ve been discussing the  
> overall problem of sharing this type of data between open source  
> GIS projects, at least in the open source Java GIS community. It  
> seems we are all using ESRI Shapefiles for data transfer and  
> storage, and this presents some technical limitations. We’ve only  
> recently started to talk about working on an alternative to  
> Shapefiles and GML. Our two ideas so far are:
> [1] A CSV file in which the first row contains feature attribute  
> names, the second row identifies feature attribute data types using  
> standard XML data types and WKT for geometry attributes, and in  
> which the other rows contain the actual attribute values, one  
> feature per row.
> [2] A restricted form of GML 2 that will eliminate the need for an  
> external schema and simplify parsing. Think of this as “GML 2  
> Resurrected”.
> This is still very much in the discussion stages, but I thought it  
> might be of interest to some on this mailing list. If there would  
> be others interested in reviewing and or contributing to the  
> specification of such a file format, or for the Java code to  
> support reading and writing it, please let me know.
> Landon (A.K.A. – The Sunburned Surveyor)
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