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05/07/2009 l3:29

Limitations of the shapefile

There are many well documented limitations of the

ESRÌ has a whole page on why you should not use
shapefiles to store geoprocessing results
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Other spatial possible formats
(Common Recent formats in Bold)


XML & Other web oriented data exchange

You want a database

But maybe you don't want to run a server, or need
to be disconnected

You want something compact and easy to give to

A single file with everything
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Ìntro to what Spatialite is:

What's sqlite

A small and fast single file SQL database

How common is SQlite?

Ìt's all over the place, in use by companies big and

Ìt's embedded in all sorts of devices like the iPhone

Logos of know companies and projects using
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What is Spatialite

Builds on sqlite

Adds the ability for spatialite to read and
understand spatial data

Adds a tool set to do spatial analysis
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What can you do with spatialite

Ìmporting data to spatialite

Loading data (Shapefile, csv)

Exporting data (Shapefile, csv)

Normal GÌS operations



Area and Distance Calculations

Standard SQL

Summation, Grouping, Sub-select, Joins

Ìmage contains a the list of all functions currently
added by Spatialite
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How do you get spatialite

Executable self contained apps ready for
download, command line, gui and libraries for

How do you use spatialite

Command Line

Spatial Lite Gui

Write your own Program
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Things special about spatialite

Full query ability ÷ Arc limits you to using their
interfaces in order to manipulate the database, you
can't run true spatial queries directly on the database
using SQL

Why is this a problem?

The classic example of many to one where the
many is attribute data and the one is spatial data.

Full control over indexing

You can store multiple projections in the same

Making it fast (7 hours in GÌS to 5 minutes.)

Memory caching of indexes

Loading tables into RAM

Loading databases in RAM

Want 5 different attribute table for the same layer

Many to Many, Many to one
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OGC compliance

OpenGÌS Defined

Scripting from






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Ìn the computer business a "stack¨ refers to a
collection of several software packages (programs)
that you use together in order to solve a problem.
Neat things you can do:

Connect from R

Run a query and do some stats

Open in QGÌS

Cutting edge, use it just like a shapefile
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Where is sqlite going

Adding support for Raster

Storing rasters in sqlite

Cataloging rasters in sqlite
Potential Stumbling Blocks

No Compression,

XML is really designed for exchange, but people
don't seem to like downloading in one format and
being forced to convert for usage

Complexity of Use

Will Proprietary Applications officially support usage
Ìs it a Data Storage, a Data Management or a Data
Analysis tool? Or all of the above?
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05/07/2009 l3:29

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