I need to use very simple geometry operations (read SHP or other standard format and simple searches) within an embedded device running a simple linux based os.

What is the smallest and simplest API I could use?

It could be written in C/C++ or Python in order to allow the integration with my system.




Check out Shapelib. It's a small C library for simple shapefile manipulation.

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I can't make any claims about 'smallest' but a couple options are:

  • PySAL: Python Statistical Analysis Library. It can read shapefiles natively. You could include only the modules you need.
  • SpatiaLite: Store your data in a spatially-enabled SQLite database. SpatiaLite includes a feature called 'virtual shapefile' that allows you to directly access a shapefile and query it as if it were a database table without actually importing it.
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There is a simple python tool here: http://www.axismaps.com/code.php

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There has been some talk and proposal of such by the qgis community. see it here...

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What about pyshp and shapely? It is simple, efficient and well documented.

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  • 1
    +1 although you'll need the GEOS C++ library as well as Shapely on the device – geographika May 18 '11 at 16:25
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    pyshp is a very minimalistic python file: shapefile.py – Mike T May 18 '11 at 20:01

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