Friday, 19 June 2015

MapGuide tidbits: SQLite interoperability

Sometimes, your data has to escape the MapGuide/FDO ecosystem and be consumed from other geo-software. If the limitations of the omnipresent SHP file format leave a lot less to be desired, then the next best thing is SQLite databases.

The reason I say this is because:

  • SQLite files (in our context) are just regular SQLite database with some special tables so mapping software know how to read features from them. You don't need FDO to peek inside the structure of a SQLite database. Any other SQLite database tool or library can get at the data as well.
  • SQLite is a relational(-ish) database. So features you'd expect in an RDBMS (eg. views) are also available in SQLite. Can you say that about SHP files?
  • The biggest reason. There's an OGR driver for SQLite, and it understands FDO's flavor of SQLite databases, and if your mapping software isn't using FDO, it's using GDAL/OGR!
Sure, there's a few quirks here and there, but they can be worked around or fixed.

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