GeometryBasics support

[WIP] Shapefile.jl:

  • GeoInterface geometry types are replaced by the meta-geometry types from GeometryBasics

const Point = Point{2, Float64}

const MultiPoint = typeof(MultiPointMeta(y::Float64[Point(0)], m::Float64, 
                                         boundingbox=Rect(0.0, 0.0, 2.0, 2.0))) 

# and so on for other shapefile geometries
  • Geometry contructors:

The construction of geometries is pretty simple and is handled well by GeometryBasics meta-geometry constructors, except for Polygon where we had to take an extra dependency to capture the case where it might have multiple exterior rings.
Thanks to Fabian Greimel, who solved it in no time!

  • Tabular Interface

We put the collection of meta-geometries and the properties file .dbf into a StructArray for tablular representation.

function structarray(shp::Handle, dbf::DBFTables.Table)
    dbf_cols = Tables.columntable(dbf)
    meta = collect(GB.meta(s) for s in shp.shapes)
    meta_cols = Tables.columntable(meta)
    return StructArray(Geometry = collect(GB.metafree(i) for i in shp.shapes); meta_cols..., dbf_cols...)


  • Feature

The package defines it's own Feature type that binds a geometry with it's properties. We went for this method rather than directly using GeometryBasics metageometry constructors to be able to support the case of heterogeneous geomtries that has been discussed below.

struct Feature{T, Names, Types}
    properties::NamedTuple{Names, Types}
  • Methods

Unlike Shapefile.jl, GeoJSONTables.jl follows a semi-lazy JSON parsing. A read() method directly reads the raw jsonbytes into a StructArray Table. The read() method has two major parts:

1) The JSON3 parsing:

fc =

2) Populating and constructing GeometryBasics features :

f = fc.features
     for f in jsonfeatures 
            geom = f.geometry
            prop =
            # only properties missing
            if geom !== nothing && prop === nothing
                Feature(geometry(geom), miss(a))
            # only geometry missing            
            elseif geom === nothing && prop !== nothing
                Feature(missing, prop)
            # none missing
            elseif geom !== nothing && prop !== nothing
                Feature(geometry(geom), prop)
            # both missing            
            elseif geom === nothing && prop === nothing
                Feature(missing, miss(a))
  • Missing values

The package now supports efficient handling of missing data. This happens right during the construction of geometries(GeoJSONTables.geometry method that accepts a JSON3.Object). In the above example you can see a miss() method, which captures all the cases where a JSON3 output might reult in nothing.

  • StructArrays and Tabular interface

This is the part that needed a careful design. One of the features of a GeoJSON format is that it allows for heterogeneous features i.e, there can be multiple geometry types in a single GeoJSON file. The challenge was getting the Tables interface to automatically widen to the appropriate types in case of heterogeneous features/geometries. eg: If a Feature has a Point type and a Polygon type, the type of our geometries column should automatically widen to Any and the Feature as Feature{Any, Names, Types}. This required defining StructArrays.staticschema, StructArrays.createinstance and Base.getproperty overloads to work well with our Feature type. The method is well documented in StructArrays.jl.

  • Lower level interface

For a faster, lower level interface and greater flexibility with the data, one can directly have a JSON3.Dict to avoid the process of conversion to GeometryBasics geometries and the Tables interface. Though it is not recommended if one wishes to use the data further for processing, plotting or performing spatial operations.