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i have a lot of shapefiles. For simplicity, lets say all the zipcodes of the USA. I've imported them into SQL SERVER 2008.

I wish to merge lots of the shapes into one shape.

I'm sorta struggling to do this with Sql Server 2008 and sql script.

Are there any programs out there that can do this? eg. click on these shapes and merge into one?

Also, can i cut shapes out? So lets imagine i have a whole pile of zipcodes together .. and then i draw my own shape .. can I cut out my shape from those zipcode leaving a nice whole.

Once more I can sorta do this with SQL Script but I'm getting really tired of this and would really love it if this stuff is all visual.

Any ideas, folks?

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please fix the title. This is like no title. –  Tomas Apr 26 '12 at 7:24
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Do you use any GIS software? –  blah238 Apr 26 '12 at 7:30
    
ArcMap has a MERGE function in the toolbox, but it sounds like you don't have ArcMap? –  ako Apr 26 '12 at 8:06
    
I've only got Sql Server and QGIS. –  Pure.Krome Apr 26 '12 at 10:15
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3 Answers 3

up vote 2 down vote accepted

What are you using to view the shapefiles (which GIS software)? And do you have necessarily to use SQL server? If not, there are open-source solutions that I am quite familiar with. I used until now Quantum GIS as GIS software and PostGIS as spatial DB. And this couple work nice together : you can import shapefiles to your DB, and then choose which table you like to add as layer in your map as well as all functionalities like merging entities, cutting, pasting, creating new tables, etc. You'll need some time to get familiar with all those functionalities but it is well worth it.

Here are some useful links: tutorial adding shapefile as PostGIS layer in QuantumGIS and QuantumGIS user guide --> see section 3.5.4. Advanced digitizing

Hope that helps.

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You can use the modules merge shapes and intersect polygons from SAGA GIS for this. It works directly with shapefiles

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You'll probably want to use something other than SQL Server 2008. According to this article it "does not have any built-in spatial aggregates"

That page also includes links to a toolkit you can download that'll let you do it in SQL Server 2008 and some other solutions too.

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