The Shapefile

So antiquated, so limiting, so dangerous…

Yet so important to our daily workflows.  It’s the pinch-point on every project.  Every year we make statements saying this is the year the shapefile goes away.  Yet here in 2014 I’m dealing with the limitations of DBF [footnote]I know so much about DBF reserve words, sadly…[/footnote] yet again.  Shapefile, you drive me nuts yet I can’t quit you just yet.  Here is to another “wonderful” year of .shp, .shx, .shp, .prj, .sbn, .sbx, .fbn, .fbx, .ain, .aih, .ixs, .mxs, .atx, .cpg and of course .shp.xml.

Here’s to another year of the shapefile!

Author: James Fee

National GIS/IT Practice Leader at Matrix New World

8 thoughts on “The Shapefile”

  1. Thanks for the reminder James… Gosh… just received the notice of 10.2.1 release … I hope it does not break all of the repairs we just are trying to conclude for 10.1? Taking any bets on the release number by July? Thank you dBASE II…DBF got us to XML – free at last… God All Mighty free at last! Then we morphed into KML and all sorts of sweetness has emerged? RIP SHP!

    Today, about 350,000 organizations use ESRI tools. We have 9,000 employees worldwide and $912 million in revenue. In our 43 years, we have never missed a quarter. We’ve never had any layoffs; we’ve never had any downsizing. It’s just been very conservative, systematic growth…. We had $1,100 total when we incorporated Esri. http://www.inc.com/magazine/201307/christine-lagorio/jack-dangermond-how-he-started-esri.html

    And you know, you can not find a single fact on ESRI as regards stockholders, corp reports, or really anything. Give it a go… I wonder if Jack will retire or maybe Microsoft will buy him out?

  2. Thanks for the reminder James… Gosh… just received the notice of 10.2.1 release … I hope it does not break all of the repairs we just are trying to conclude for 10.1? Taking any bets on the release number by July? Thank you dBASE II…DBF got us to XML – free at last… God All Mighty free at last! Then we morphed into KML and all sorts of sweetness has emerged? RIP SHP!

    Today, about 350,000 organizations use ESRI tools. We have 9,000 employees worldwide and $912 million in revenue. In our 43 years, we have never missed a quarter. We’ve never had any layoffs; we’ve never had any downsizing. It’s just been very conservative, systematic growth…. We had $1,100 total when we incorporated Esri. http://www.inc.com/magazine/201307/christine-lagorio/jack-dangermond-how-he-started-esri.html

    And you know, you can not find a single fact on ESRI as regards stockholders, corp reports, or really anything. Give it a go… I wonder if Jack will retire or maybe Microsoft will buy him out?

  3. There must be a reason it’s been around so long? I hardly use them anymore. But I’ll take a shapefile over a kml anyday.

  4. what are your thoughts in regards to geojson and its role in gis? since it fits the web standards model, i love it; that said, as much as i do know about web standards, i do not know about conventional gis.

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