Some time ago, I looked at some uses for Ordnance Survey Open Data, coming to the conclusion that a sensible way to work with it would be to import it in to a geospatial-enabled database.
Each set of data is provided in ESRI Shapefile format, and has four files:
- shp – shape format
- shx – shape index format
- dbf – attribute format in dBase IV format
- prj – projection format
The shp2pgsql command converts SHP files in to a set of SQL commands which will effectively import the data in to PostgreSQL. Here’s a ridiculously simple guide to importing a file:
psql -d os_opendata -c "CREATE EXTENSION POSTGIS"
shp2pgsql <filename>.shp <table_name> | psql -d os_opendata
Depending on the speed of your machine, in a few seconds you’ll find a new table in your database with all the data included.
And finally, what if you just want to import all of the data at once? Try this:
find Data/ -name "*.shp" | xargs -I % -n1 shp2pgsql % | psql -d os_opendata