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support a completely open file-based spatial database format


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  • Instead of continuing to rely upon proprietary data formats such as the  file geodatabase (one we still have no open API for, 4 years later),  why not take the high road for a change and partner with the rest of the Open Gis community to collabroatively develop and support a common SpatiaLite file-based spatial database format that everyone can use. It's past time to retire shapefiles, but the GIS Community at large requires a similarly open data structure/format that all GIS softwares can understand, if we're going to get any closer to true interoperability. Spatial data resources are critically important and need to remain open and accessible to all - especially government agency data, which is (mostly) public domain.

    TAG: Geodatabase
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    Posted by   jlh  to Local GovernmentFederal GovernmentOther ProductsGeodatabase Apr 12, 2010

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Comments (4)

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Aug 7, 2013
Starting from ArcGIS 10.2,  one can connect to and work with  simple feature data in a SQLite database.
The CreateSQLiteDatabase ArcPy function can be used in creating a SQLite database with either  Esri’s ST_Geometry type or SpatiaLite.
More information on SQLite/SpatiaLite databases can be obtained from the following link:

Oct 30, 2010
While I like this idea, the geodatabase is a lot more than just a file format. It has behavior and contains code. The shapefile, which is open, does not contain behavior and code.

Sanjay Lala 
May 5, 2010
Hello JLH,

Since this Idea does not pertain to  the Services team, we are taking this off the Services Ideas Category, but adding it to  the "Other products" category.

ArcGIS Ideas Administrator

Apr 22, 2010

Agreed, 100%.  The lack of an open API (I know, supposedly something is coming) for the file geodatabase has really hurt its utilization in our organization.  In many, if not almost all, the file geodatabase is much better than personal geodatabase, but we have many folks that prefer personal geodatabases simply because they are not tied to ESRI products to access the data.

The proposal above makes a lot of sense.  ESRI has a history of supporting open GIS concepts, like the GeoDesign 2010 Summit, but I would like to see more and better support of open formats and specificiations within the software itself.  Proprietary data formats send a message that runs counter to other, more altuistic, messages ESRI likes to give regarding the importance of geospatial.



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