Surprised I couldn't find an answer to this on Google. For transferring a complete dataset (polygons, in vector form) in a single file, what is the most size-efficient file format?

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    What formats have you tried so far? What was your "size-efficiency" result for each format that you have tried? Without knowing the precision of your polygons and things like how many there are and how many vertices each has, I think there will be too many possible answers, each with a list of assumptions, for this question to be suitable for focussed Q&A. – PolyGeo Mar 6 '17 at 0:35
  • I have not carried out my own experiments (hoping to avoid the need by asking here!). You don't think there are any general properties of different formats that hold up across different datasets? – Steve Bennett Mar 6 '17 at 1:02
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    I would start to benchmark before speculating (or asking here). As it stands, it looks like you are outsourcing your research to the community to do using their volunteered time. – PolyGeo Mar 6 '17 at 1:23
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    Transferring where and via which means? Is it just geometries or are attributes involved? Are you able to use any format or nothing proprietary? – bugmenot123 Mar 6 '17 at 9:22
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    Gee thanks, @PolyGeo for your assumption of bad faith (and accusation of free-loading off the community). I'm not asking anyone to do research, I'm asking if there is already a answer. For instance, I can tell that Shapefiles are smaller than GeoJSON. Probably there are people who can name a number of formats that are usually smaller than Shapefile. I have experience with a few formats, but size has rarely been a criteria until now. Jeepers. – Steve Bennett Mar 7 '17 at 2:58

My experience is that databases (geodatabase, sqlite) handle large polygon layers better in both disk space size and performance compared to file based (e.g. shapefiles). In addition, for geodatabasees you may further compress them, see link below.

Compress file geodatabase data

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