Over the last few years, Pitney Bowes has introduced two new file formats for storing spatial data. Our new Multi-Resolution Raster (MRR) format was designed for storing raster and grid data and our new MapInfo Extended format is a new version of our native TAB file for point and vector data. These formats are quite good at storing much larger amounts of data than their predecessors, perform very well and have many other benefits as well. We have added support for these formats in all of our products across the LI Suite and are continuing to improve the integration as well as the formats themselves. While we do this, we recognize that many of our clients and partners combine technology from Pitney Bowes together with technology from other vendors and the open source community in their solution architectures. We would like to optimize the adoption of our new formats by enabling them to be used across all of these technologies and are going to be contributing to the GDAL open source project as a way to achieve this.
For MRR, we already have a GDAL driver that supports read-only access available upon request. Our goal is to make the driver more readily and freely accessible and then pursue expanding the driver to support creation and editing operations. The driver is built on our raster SDK which will also be made available. We are not at this time, however, planning on open sourcing the raster SDK. This SDK and the GDAL driver support Windows and Linux operating systems.
For MapInfo Extended (NativeX) support, we have a few alternatives we are exploring. Our goal here is to also enable full abilities to read, write and create NativeX tables through GDAL. MapInfo TAB files are supported today through GDAL with the open source MITAB library. This library has not been developed or maintained by PB. Upgrading this library is one option we are exploring. Our preference, however, is to introduce a new GDAL (OGR) driver based on the same code that is used within the PB products. We have introduced a new SDK called EFAL which provides support for Native and NativeX formats and are considering making this into a GDAL driver. This would allow us to have a single codebase supporting our format within and outside the company. Presently, however, the EFAL library only runs on Windows which is why we are evaluating multiple paths forward. We also do not currently plan to open source the EFAL SDK. This is mostly due to legacy code structure issues as the EFAL SDK is conditionally compiled from a larger project making it very difficult to properly maintain the code if only a portion of it were open sourced.
We will be refining our plans over the near term to make these formats more open to the community and enable their use across heterogeneous environments, in keeping with our #FreeYourGIS philosophy. We would love to hear any thoughts about our plans and how this may help with your solutions.
Long awaited and highly appreciated feature. Looking forward to it!
Any news on this? Especially access to EFAL SDK would be great. Adding it to GDAL as a driver is a different matter.
Hi, I've contacted you to get the MRR GDAL driver. still no response.
Why don't you just publish it?
@Uffe Kousgaard? and @Idan Miara?, I think we have reached out to you via other email. Is that correct?