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Re: [xml-dev] Four fine text-based data formats ... liberate yourselffrom one (silo) data format

On Mon, Mar 25, 2013 at 2:40 PM, Michael Kay <mike@saxonica.com> wrote:

Oi!  That definitely touches a nerve!  Geodata XML formats are abominations.  I had to do a lot of work with KML last year and what the hell was anyone thinking coding that in XML?!

I did some experiments generating SVG from KML using XSLT and I found it worked extremely well.

That doesn't surprise me because SVG also uses the same interminable point series attributes that KML does (I suspect KML borrowed the idea from SVG).  It's not quite as bad in SVG because there's usually much more to the SVG file than the point sets, but in KML files, that's in my experience generally the thing you really care about, and you almost wish it were in a fixed-width binary format instead.

So yeah, I can imagine a KML->SVG transform would be fairly painless (not that I've ever tried that myself), but I don't think that really rescues KML as a format.  I'll also say that I can't imagine it would be hard to generate SVG from bog-standard KML data coded in a binary or CSV-like format.  Again without the need for e.g. mixed content, attributes, etc, XML really just gets in the way.

Uche Ogbuji                       http://uche.ogbuji.net
Founding Partner, Zepheira        http://zepheira.com

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