the new universal geodata file format...
GeoPackage is a universal file format for geodata.
It’s open, standards-based, application and platform independent, and self-describing. And since its built
on top of SQLite, all you need to know is SQL to use GeoPackages on any desktop or mobile OS on the market.
GeoPackage is the modern alternative to formats like SDTS
and Shapefile. At it’s core, GeoPackage is simply a SQLite database schema. If
you know SQLite, you are close to knowing GeoPackage. Install Spatialite – the
premiere spatial extention to SQLite – and you get all the performance of a
spatial database along with the convenience of a file-based data set that can
be emailed, shared on a USB drive or burned to a DVD.
GeoPackage was carefully designed this way to facilitate widespread adoption and use of a single simple file format by both commercial and open-source software applications — on enterprise production platforms as well as mobile hand-held devices.
Great for Mobile
Mobile device users who require map/geospatial applications and operate in disconnected or limited network connectivity environments are challenged by not having open, available geospatial data to support these applications.
Further challenging mobile device users are the limited storage available and the likelihood that each map/geospatial application will require its own potentially proprietary geospatial data store.
These separate application-specific data stores may contain the same geospatial data, wasting the limited storage available, and requiring custom applications for data translation, replication, and synchronization to enable different apps to share the same world view.
Great for cross-platform sharing
In addition, many existing geospatial data stores are platform-specific, which means that users with different platforms must translate data to share it.
GeoPackage is built upon SQLite, and can therefore be used easily by a broad spectrum of software developers in a consistent way on every major mobile and desktop platform in the market. Adding GeoPackage support to an app can be done by any SQL-savvy programmer. Geo-specific features do depend upon the extensions to SQLite provided by Spatialite, so to develop truly geo-enabled apps, Spatialite should be installed as well.
GeoPackage is rapidly approaching standard status within OGC. To follow the standards working group's progress, look here.
- The OGC Seeks Comments on Candidate GeoPackage Standard, October 30, 2013
- Takeaways from OpenGeo’s Comments on OGC and the Proposed GeoPackage Specification -- blog post from Adena at Directions Magazine on 2013-02-12
- The GeoPackage - Salvation from the Shapefile and the GeoTIFF -- blog post from weogeo on 2013-01-10
- OGC Draft Geopackage Specification -- blog post from Spatially Adjusted on 2012-12-20
- Sample Geopackage with Haiti OSM tiles and point features
- Luciad GeoPackage Viewer: To support the OGC OWS-9 project, Luciad has developed a viewer for Android that enables visualization of data following the OGC GeoPackage standard. The Luciad OGC GeoPackage Viewer is made available free of charge.
- libgpkg courtesy of Luciad: libgpkg is a small C library that allows developers to easily read/write GeoPackage compliant SQLite files. It provides the set of minimal runtime functions far and additionally has functions to read/write WKB and WKT, to create and verify the GeoPackage tables. The library only depends on SQLite. Luciad is pleased to announce they are making this base geopackage library available to the entire community as an open-source library. Our hope is that by releasing this library we can help in making geopackage a widely adopted format within the geo community. We see as the main benefit of the library that it is small with little dependency on other 3rd party or open source libraries. It provides a base on which implementors can add their own features such as accurate transformations, intersections, and other added value as they see fit. We're releasing this library under the permissive Apache Software License. This allows the code to be integrated in other projects or products without introducing licensing complexities.
- GDAL support: Contribute to building support for GeoPackage in GDAL here.
- Coming soon!