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What is Geo package?

Geo Package is a portable, self-describing, open, standards-based, platform-independent package for exchanging geographic data.

1. attributes (non-spatial data)
2. extensions

3. vector features
4. tile matrix collections of images and raster maps at various sizes

To be explicit, the GeoPackage Encoding Standard defines the rules and requirements of content contained in a GeoPackage container.

The schema for a GeoPackage is defined by the GeoPackage standard, which includes table definitions, integrity assertions, format limits, and content constraints.

The standard completely defines the needed and supported content of a GeoPackage.

These features are based on a common foundation, and the extension method allows implementors to add new functionality to their GeoPackages.

A GeoPackage may be used directly because it is a database container. This implies that data in a GeoPackage may be accessed and modified in its “original” storage format without the need for intermediary format conversions.

GeoPackages that follow the standard’s specifications and don’t use vendor-specific modifications are compatible with all corporate and personal computer environments.

In communications situations with limited connectivity and capacity, GeoPackages are especially effective on mobile devices such as cell phones and tablets.

Is GeoPackage a replacement for Shapefile?

The Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) initially created GeoPackage 5 years ago, making it the official Shapefile replacement.

It’s a subset of SQLite, which is a light-weight SQL implementation for standalone databases. GeoPackage, like GeoJSON, is designed to be highly interoperable and accessible by non-GIS software.

GeoPackage, like Shapefile, employs Well-known binary (WKB) to store geometries. GeoPackage, interestingly, also supports the storage of raster data. With the training data set, QGIS handled it just as well as Shapefile.

Why use Geopackage files rather than shapefiles ?

If you’ve ever worked with vector data or done geographic analysis, you’re familiar with shape file .

It is the most prevalent vector data formats for storing data and doing geographical analyses. However, when it comes to scaling your work and creating integrated and automated workflows for large-scale deployments, this formats have significant drawbacks.

In this aspect, the Geopackage format has a number of advantages. This is why you should utilize Geopackage files rather than shapefiles . Let’s take a closer look at the specifics.

Shapefiles Have Issues:

Non-topological vector data and accompanying attribute data are stored in Shapefiles. Despite its widespread use, it has a number of severe drawbacks for current use cases;

Shapefile is a file format that contains many files. Each vector layer you save contains at least three files (.shp,.shx, and.dbf) as well as multiple more files with various extensions.

As a result, if you wish to share a shapefile with someone, you must provide all of the files for one layer. And if you have several layers, you’ll have a lot of files. It’s not a good idea to have 4–6 times the amount of files for each project.

Shapefile includes associated attributes data. Similar to a tabular datasets with column headings, However, you can only specify the column header with 10 characters, and it is not always optimal to have an abbreviated version of column headings when some description/identification is required.

The shapefiles can be up to 2GB in size. A vector layer with more features than 2GB cannot be exported as a shapefile.

A shapefile cannot include more than one geometry type.

Even with a spatial index on QGIS, the speed of the shape file drops dramatically as the size of the shapefile grows and you deal with more attribute columns and rows.

Advantages of Geo package

Lightweight but very adaptable to a variety of settings

Geopackages are typically 1.1–1.3 times less in file size than shapefiles and nearly 2 times smaller than geojsons.

Open source, based on SQLite database

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