Thursday, May 5, 2011

New Member added to the PyShp Team

Great news - Nicholas Lederer who works with the University of Washington Applied Physics Laboratory recently joined the committers for PyShp.  He has already made some significant contributions (i.e. bug squashing) to the library in his spare time.   He also has bigger design ideas on how to address some issues to make code maintenance easier as contributors grow. We have also been dealing with some niche but important issues elevation values, dbf header fields, and all-too-common incorrect shapefiles produced by other libraries.

I originally wrote this library because I wanted an easy way to read and write shapefiles in pure Python.  That option simply didn't exist from the time I entered the geospatial field in 2000 until 2004 when I started developing this library in my free time.  Hurricane Katrina slowed down the development tremendously for a few years but by 2010 I had finished it.

In those 10 years since I first started looking for a library like PyShp, Python grew tremendously in popularity but nobody developed this kind of library.  The field of geospatial technology also grew and the technology and standards changed radically but shapefiles still seem to stubbornly persist as the most common way to store and exchange geospatial vector data.

Given the library was still potentially relevant I guessed there were at least 4 other people in the world who had a need to write shapefiles in Python as simply as possible.  It turns out there are hundreds, maybe thousands of people who have this need.  And there is no doubt Python itself is firmly entrenched in geospatial technology in general.

I'm looking forward to this library reaching its full potential through a collaborative effort.  Thanks to everybody who has identified issues, provided patches, and joined in this shared interest.

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