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We've got a project coming up where we need to upload .zip of a shapefile, join the .dbf to some lookup tables, join to other tables also uploaded (one to many attributes for each feature), and ultimately generate GML following a defined XML schema. So the geometry in the GML will come from the Shapefile (lines and polygons) and the attribs will come from the core table and some additional uploaded tables.

No projection needed, no searching, no filtering. The system is a Java web app and we need to give the source out as open source when we are done (no proprietary code). We just need something simple, easy and modern.

Would you use Geotools for this or call ogr2ogr? Is geotools overkill in terms of complexity for this?

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Since it's Java, I'd suggest using GeoTools as it seems to be the premier Java GIS library. It already has support for shapefiles and for writing GML. You might want to check this FAQ for more information.

As you'll be doing a web app, you might want to check Geomajas, too. It uses GeoTools as well.

Geomajas is a free and open source GIS framework which seamlessly integrates powerful server side algorithms into the web browser.

Here are its core features which you might find useful:

  • Integrated client-server architecture
  • Geometry and attribute editing
  • Custom attribute definitions
  • Advanced querying capabilities (CQL)
  • Out-of-the-box security
  • Extensible plug-in mechanism
  • Multiple front-end technologies
  • Cross browser support, without the need for browser plug-ins

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