I'm curious what sort of domain specific languages (DSLs) are used in GIS. The only one I can think of is the DOCELL language that was provided in ArcInfo Workstation GRID, but is no longer supported.

  • 1
    Please add the definition rather than linking to an external website which may change content/go offline anytime.
    – johanvdw
    Nov 25 '11 at 21:33
  • FME's workbench would classify as a graphical DSL, and its generated/editable scripts as a DSL

  • ArcGIS's Model Builder could also be described as a graphical DSL.

  • MapServer's MapFile syntax (and the language agnostic MapScript)

  • SLD is described as an encoding, but may also fall under the category of an DSL.


Map algebra likely qualifies. The data model provided with GDAL (similar to DOCELL), and its VRT format. The simple features model implemented in software such as PostGIS, as an object-relational database extension for domain-specific data.


MapBasic, the macro langage of Mapinfo ?


If a DSL can include SQL, I imagine that Avenue would be included.

  • Isn't Avenue a dead language? Does ESRI sell ArcView 3.x anymore?
    – klewis
    Nov 25 '11 at 23:34
  • If by dead you mean that it is not actively developed anymore or that hardly anyone uses it, then it is dead. But if it is a domain-specific language it is a valid answer for the question. Since we haven't seen a definition of DSL we can't know that at this point.
    – jvangeld
    Dec 2 '11 at 21:22

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