How long will the shape file survive?

For a moment I thought that the axf format was the substitute for the ESRI shape file; but rather behaves like a geodatabase for ArcPad, which implies that ESRI will insist on making us suffer with the shp format.

The problem

image The weaknesses of the shp format is its age, storing its tabular data in the way it was done almost 20 years without being able to establish relationships and the dispersion of small files that store the different characteristics and rules of vector data.

ESRI announced Its axf as a format to use Arcpad that from the 7.1 version can handle related tables where you can include attributes, thematization, projection and other features that the little dinorex could not do.

Although some have shouted to the heavens saying "do we need another spatial data format?", ESRI insists that it is not a new format but like the geodatabase it is a structure of rules for spatial data built on Microsoft SQL Server Compact Edition (SQLCE) ... in a reckless conclusion, the same geodatabase that many have criticized for having an overly stubborn API.

... it may not be a new format but it adds complexity to the geospatial product market, everyone should now build another protocol to interact with this format.

And that is supposed to do the axf

  • Collects shape files in a database, shape file attributes are stored In a dbf... in a BLOB (Binary large object) in flat columns in the style dbf ... and hit it with the dbf.
  • Then in another table are metadata such as projection, symbology, forms and scripts.
  • The collection of shapefiles, with their layers and other complements can be considered a single file.
  • You can also integrate with the geodatabase, accepting domains, subtypes and relationships ... I suppose also topological rules and geoprocessing routines.


image In practice, someone with a GPS can go to the field, perform cadastral maintenance on a map (not the simple shapefile) as if they were working with their desktop platform, determining if there is topological integrity by splices and send the data via gsm to the central database ... that you couldn't do this? ... oh, sorry, with ArcPad!

Many believe that if ESRI insists on defending its dino-shapefile, one day the xml formats (kml, gml) will eat it alive ... no matter if you are married to Microsoft.

Golgi Alvarez

Writer, researcher, specialist in Land Management Models. He has participated in the conceptualization and implementation of models such as: National Property Administration System SINAP in Honduras, Management Model of Joint Municipalities in Honduras, Integrated Cadastre-Registry Management Model in Nicaragua, Territory Administration System SAT in Colombia . Editor of the Geofumadas knowledge blog since 2007 and creator of the AulaGEO Academy that includes more than 100 courses on GIS - CAD - BIM - Digital Twins topics.

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  1. Hi, can you explain to me how I can open a .shp file with autocad 2010 will be grateful.

  2. Even so, the format in which the geometry is saved does not remain the same as in the shp file? This is the case with the geometry field of the geodatabase.

  3. Mmm, I already did the correction, stores them in a BLOB

  4. How is it possible that….

    "Collect shapefiles in a database, the attributes of the shapefile are stored in a dbf... and hit the dbf."

    If you use a database to store the shape, how is it possible that you still keep the alphanumeric information in an external DBF ???

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