Odds and Ends (SpatiaLite and Stuff)

It has been quite a while since I last blogged. The holidays are always a busy time of year with family a friends and work has been somewhat busy as well. We established a new presence in Colorado Springs (I’ll be traveling there at the end of January). Additionally, I’ve been busy with project work and have recently begun spend part time on a customer site. So, the blog has been squeezed a little.

I am doing more work with ArcGIS Server 9.3 and the Javascript API but probably won’t have enough to blog about for a few more weeks. Also, at the urging of Adam Estrada, I have begun dabbling more with SpatiaLite. You may remember my post some time ago about integrating SQLite with SharpMap. SpatiaLite is a spatial extension to SQLite and it seems to be very powerful. I am currently re-working my previous code so that I’ll have a SpatiaLite provider for SharpMap. With the use of the SQLite OLEDB provider, this has gone fairly smoothly.

The thing I really like about it is the portability. You can basically drop a couple of DLLs and go. Additionally, SpatiaLite has strong support for many spatial operations so it can be a fairly robust analysis back-end. These two attributes raise a lot of possibilities for mobile applications. I have done some mobile development work with PostGIS (okay, the platforms were fairly heavy but they were in vehicles that rolled around) and it worked well but SpatiaLite might ease some of those “in the field” workflows, especially the delivery of relevant basemap information.

With regard to SharpMap, it looks like SpatiaLite provider is under way for 2.0. I am doing my own for 0.9 because it helps me get more comfortable with SpatiaLite. Once I am finished, I’ll be happy to share my code but you may want to take a look at what’s being implemented with 2.0. It’s fairly elegant.

Also of interest, the SpatiaLite Users Google Group.

Update: the code for SharpMap 2.0 is currently located here.

8 thoughts on “Odds and Ends (SpatiaLite and Stuff)

  1. I am still working on the provider and, yes, it will work with 0.9. I have not done much with it lately because work has been extremely busy. I plan to get back to it in a couple of weeks.

    As for reading and writing shapefiles, is there a reason you chose not to use the shapefile provider in SharpMap?

  2. The demise of the shapefile has been declared time and again but it continues to survive as the de facto spatial data transfer standard. I will say that SQLite is so easily portable that it begins to approach the simplicity of the shapefile from that standpoint.

    That’s why I say take a look at the provider for SharpMap 2.0. They’ve got some code in there for discovering the spatial tables in a database. If it gets to the point where you can just point at the database file and then pick the table you want, that’s pretty easy.

    There is a heck of a lot of potential in this one. It shouldn’t be hard to plug it into ArcGIS (via zigGIS perhaps?). Now if I could only find that 25th hour in each day…

  3. I’ve only played around with SpatialLite for the past 30 minutes, but I’m liking the SpatialLite! I wonder if SpatialLite will eventually be a shapefile replacement for data exchange–it seems like it is a good candidate. But the shapefile addiction is widespread and time will tell.

  4. To be fair, you have to figure ESRI started down that path at least a year and a half ago. I don’t know what the state of SpatiaLite was then. That said, they have incorporated other FOSS tools (such as OGR) when it made sense so it would certainly be something they could consider supporting.

    It would also be readily cross-platform. Certainly wouldn’t hurt to add support and then let the users choose which format to use.

  5. I wish ESRI had standardized on something like SpatiaLite instead of that new fanged thing they have that no one seems to be able to read. What is it File Database – AXF. I can’t even remember what they call it.

Comments are closed.