The Open Geospatial Consortium's draft GeoPackage (GPKG) standard is an open, app-independent, platform-independent, portable, interoperable, self-describing data container and API. This standard is intended to support multiple mapping and geospatial applications such as fixed product distribution, local data collection, and geospatially enabled analytics.
The standard was developed for mobile device users who require geospatial apps, but operate in environments with limited network connectivity, in other words, connection to a network may be intermittent. At present each mapping or geospatial app requires its own geospatial data store. This creates noninteroperable data silos. App-specific data silos contain the same geospatial data but are not accessible by more than one application. The Geopackage standard is intended to define a common data store that is accesssible to all apps through a common API. This means that several apps can share the same data. The standard is intended to not only be app independent, but also platform independent so that it can be be used by apps on iOS, Android, Blackberry, and other devices.
GeoPackages provide direct access to vector geospatial features and tile matrix sets of earth images and raster maps at various scales. Direct use means the ability of apps to access and update data through an API in a “native” format without intermediate format translations.
A GeoPackage is a platform-independent SQLite database file that contains GeoPackage data and metadata tables. What is allowed in a GeoPackage is entirely defined by the encoding standard specification.
An Extended GeoPackage is a GeoPackage that contains additional data elements (tables or columns) or SQL constructs (data types, functions, indexes, constraints or triggers) that are not specified in the encoding standard.
The Geopackage standard is the first OGC standard to use Github to host the standards development documents.