Open spatial data formats

Thursday, March 5, 2009 at 11:17:22

The Shapefile 2.0 manifesto has been doing the rounds on a few blogs lately. It’s a nice article (and worth the read) simply because it identifies the the need for open file formats that allow us to easily work with data (and it makes the point that GML is a distribution format which is a different kettle of fish). This harks back to an earlier post on file formats to use for archiving data (at the Journal of Maps). One of the points Alex misses is that shapefiles do not contain topological data. So whilst SHP has its limitations, as he says, “in my opinion this makes Shapefile the best thing ever to happen to GIS, without it the GIS market would be a fraction of it’s current size.” Time is ripe for a replacement and I would agree that the file geodatabase would be a good option if it was made open.

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