Understanding sqlite zip database

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    Aelool Indowy

    Hello all,

    I am creating a statistical data visualization application and would like to use Natural Earth data. I have downloaded the zipped sqlite database file, however I am confused about using it. In particular, I can access for example 50m_countries table and extract GEOMETRY blob – but what is it? It looks like a shp file without header, yet if I compare it to separately downloaded ne_50m_admin_0_countries.shp file, I cannot recognize what I’m looking at – regular file consists of polygons (type 5), while GEOMETRY doesn’t appear to be polygons.

    Could anyone please give we some advice or provide documentation? The only thing I was able to google out was a link to an older post on this forum (something like topic.php?id=40) that no longer exists.

    Thanks in advance.




    Hi Aelool,

    I had the same problem and I came upon this tutorial:


    I am doing it step by step now.




    Aelool Indowy

    Thanks atanas, I would need something for native code though (Win32/64/MFC/C++, but Linux or anything close is ok). I am currently trying to get GDAL library to load naturalearth.sqlite file, so far without success… Not sure if it’s even meant to be used this way? Or it’s exactly meant not to be used this way? Eh…




    SQLite format is intended to be used with OGR (Vector side of GDAL), in particular you should be able to open layers in QGIS as vector layers. Looks like more specifically it’s WKB http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Well-known_text


    Aelool Indowy

    I think I did try opening it with OGR, but unsuccessfully… Anyway thanks for information. I’ve already given up and have some code that reads SHP files instead of SQLite, but I’ll reconsider.



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