There are many reasons one might like to store temporal information in association with a shapefile. In my case I want a manually accessible timestamp so I can request temporally relative updates to a dataset.
Is there a proper way to do this in the shapefile standard? (or perhaps another QGIS accessible file standard)
I've had a look and the most appropriate place I could find seemed to me to be the geospatial metadata file (suffix .shp.xml) but I can't see how or if one can actually read or write a time stamp to that file.
The next thing I thought was to store a time stamp directly into the file name but that seems a little hacky for such an important factor.
To be clear I don't want to store a time stamp attribute for features in my shapefile as in GIS file format for space and time data? That would be straight forward but not appropriate. I want to store a timestamp for THE shapefile.
Using a timestamp assigned to the files by the OS (e.g.: file creation date or file access date) is also possible but that doesn't give me enough control and may be changed inappropriately by the OS later.
I use QGIS, but if there's no option available to QGIS, then writing my own XML (or similar) reader in Python is a viable solution too.