The International Archives of the Photogrammetry, Remote Sensing and Spatial Information Sciences
Publications Copernicus
Articles | Volume XLVIII-4/W1-2022
06 Aug 2022
 | 06 Aug 2022


P. Mooney and M. Minghini

Keywords: Binary data serialization, interoperability, geospatial, GeoJSON, Protocol Buffers, Apache Avro

Abstract. In this paper we investigate the benefits of binary data serialization as a means of storing and sharing large amounts of geospatial data in an interoperable way. De-facto text-based exchange encodings typically exposed by modern Application Programming Interfaces (APIs), including eXtensible Markup Language (XML) and JavaScript Object Notation (JSON), are generally inefficient for an increasingly higher number of applications due to their inflated volumes of data, low speed and the high computational cost for parsing and processing. In this work we consider comparisons of JSON/Geospatial JSON (GeoJSON) and two popular binary data encodings (Protocol Buffers and Apache Avro) for storing and sharing geospatial data. Using a number of experiments, we illustrate the advantages and disadvantages of both approaches for common workflows that make use of geospatial data encodings such as GeoPackage and GeoJSON. The paper contributes a number of practical recommendations around the potential for binary data serialization for interoperable (geospatial) data storage and sharing in the future.