The Problem with GML

Link – Is GML a “format”

One often hears the term “data format” without much discussion as to what it means. People talk about converting from one format to another even when they express distinctly different semantics – for example “the conversion from Shape format to SVG format” and so on. While this “abuse of language” may be convenient it very often makes it very unclear what is really going on.

Actually I enjoyed the article (well written), but it did get me thinking about the real problem with GML. Most people don’t have a clue what it is, how to use it or how to create it (though I’m sure most readers of this blog are well versed in GML).

The best response I’ve gotten while describing GML to someone was, “oh you mean like KML?”. Yikes….
Of course the biggest problem with OGC interoperability in ArcGIS is that you have to buy an extension to gain access to most formats. It is unfortunate that ESRI didn’t decide to bundle the Data Interoperability with the 9.1 products. I’d say that this extension is worth much more to GIS Professionals than ArcGIS StreetMap, ArcPress, ArcScan and Maplex combined. For now we’ll have to rely on other tools to get some of this work done.

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