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I would like a nice graphical tool that allows me to take standard gis data such as shp files and kml files and upload them to a database such as PostGIS, MySql or Oracle. Are there any such tools? What do other people use to move gis data into a database?

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I would suggest making this question Community Wiki, since it's "List of X" with no one right answer. – JasonBirch Aug 9 '10 at 5:51
Good thought. Thanks. – Jay Askren Sep 5 '10 at 3:57
up vote 11 down vote accepted

To import shapefiles into PostGIS, you can use QGIS PostGIS Manager Plugin. It's a GUI for for shp2pgsql command line function. If you want to load KML files, you'd first have to convert those to shapefiles. This is simple: Just open the KML file in QGIS and save it again as shapefile. If you have multiple KML files, you might prefer using OGR Converter plugin to convert whole folders at once.

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+1 nice one (although I prefer using shp2pgsql directly). – Adam Matan Aug 7 '10 at 19:48
According to the plugin is now deprecated, and you should use the DB Manager plugin – SteveC Apr 1 at 16:09

QGIS and shp2pgsql (and they are FLOSS) are probably most popular for Postgres/PostGIS database as underdark already said. There are probably some FLOSS tools for MySQL and Oracle but i'm not familiar with those. But if you have access to some commercial tools such as AutoCAD Map (via FDO) or Safe FME, you can import any spatial data to almost any spatial database. Probably Manifold can do it also.

Also there is FDO Toolbox which can copy data and its properties from one source (shp for example) to another (MySQL, PostGIS, MSSQL etc.).

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As others have mentioned, there are many tools avaliable to perform these actions, from dedicated x2y style command-line utilities through high-end Spatial ETL tools.

I personally use, and love the power of FME by Safe Software. It has paid for itself many times over in increased productivity. If proprietary/un-free software is an option for you, it's worth checking out.

For open source GUI tools, I also have had good experiences using fdo2fdo by SL-King in a production task-specific scenario, and Jackie Ng's FDO Toolbox for quick translation between formats.

Talend's SpatialDataIntegrator and GeoKettle also both boast some impressive ETL capabilities with GUI designers, but I've never had the patience to get through their learning curves. Probably worth investigating if you need full ETL capabilities.

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I'd give ogr2gui (screenshots) a try, which provides a graphical wrapper around OGR, arguably the most powerful vector conversion library. In the long run, you'd help yourself becoming familiar with a command-line tools in this area, because of the great flexibility in OGR that isn't exposed through a simple GUI wrapper.

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Not for all of these databases. As each before me said, there are many tools available, but each with it's own purpose. That is actually a good idea to further development!

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