I have blogged about the GeoPackage several times over the past couple of years. GeoPackage is an Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) standard for exchanging spatial data, especially among mobile devices. It is the modern alternative to formats like SDTS and Shapefile. At its core, GeoPackage is simply an SQLite database schema.
At the OGC, GeoPackage was the first standards process to rely on GitHub instead of a traditional MS Word-based process. GitHub encouraged greater participation especially among the developer community which helped keep the specification simple. Developers always have in the back of their mind how are we going to implement this ?
It was adopted as a full OGC standard earlier this year and already there are several implementations - probably because of its simplicity.
- GeoServer - The GeoPackage Extension plugin brings in the ability to read and write GeoPackage files. GeoPackage can be used as an output format for WFS GetFeature (creating one vector data layer) as well as WMS GetMap (creating one raster data layer).
- Esri ArcGIS - ArcGIS 10.2.2 for Desktop and Server support the 1.0 vector spec. Summer 2014: ArcGIS 10.3 for Desktop will add vector and tiled raster support, and ArcGIS Runtime 10.2.4 for Android and Java will also support GeoPackage.
- GDAL - Supports the vector portion of GeoPackage as an OGR Driver, available in GDAL versions 1.11.0 and above.
- GeoTools - GeoTools 11-RC1 offers improved GeoPackage support
- SpatiaLite - GeoPackage support in SpatiaLite 4.2.0. SpatiaLite is an open source library intended to extend the SQLite core to support fully fledged Spatial SQL capabilities.
- OpenJUMP PLUS reads GeoPackages - OpenJUMP PLUS has already a fast, native, platform-independent support for reading vector data from OGC GeoPackage data files
- Luciad's libgpkg - libgpkg is a small C library that allows developers to easily read/write GeoPackage compliant SQLite files. The library only depends on SQLite. Luciad is pleased to announce they are making this base geopackage library available to the entire community as an open-source library.
- Luciad GeoPackage Viewer - To support the OGC OWS-9 and OWS-10 testbeds, Luciad has developed a viewer for Android that enables visualization of data following the OGC GeoPackage standard. The Luciad OGC GeoPackage Viewer is made available free of charge.
GeoPackage is becoming recognized as a model for modern standards development that I expect will influence standards development not only at the OGC, but also other standards organizations.