Most of you know about the standard “clipboard” that comes with Microsoft Windows or most Linux distributions. This is the tool that lets you paste text from one cell in a spreadsheet to another, or from one document to another. I can even us it in AutoCAD to paste geometry from one drawing to another.
I thought it would be cool to have a “Geo Clipboard” for open source Java applications. This would simply be a text file stored in a known location (like C:/Program Files/Geo Clipboard/clipboard.txt) that would store items like positions and simple features. You could then write plug-ins for applications like UDig and OpenJUMP that wrote to and read from the clipboard.
Ideally, the GeoClipboard would allow me to select a feature in OpenJUMP and paste it right into UDig. In the standard operating system clipboard each new selection saved to the clipboard overwrites the previous selection. I think it would be cool to associate selections in the Geo Clipboard with a tag or label. That way the user could store multiple selections on the clipboard.
The file format might look like this in XML (I replaced the greater than/lesser than symbols with square brackets.):
[tag]Road Features East of Interstate 5[/tag]
Simple features would go here…
Of course, it would be cool if the Geo Clipboard came with a little application that allowed you to view and edit its contents without the need for an external application like OpenJUMP or UDig.
There is no need for the Geo Clipboard to be limited to Java programs either. Since we are working with a text file, you could use it in applications like QGIS to.
The Sunburned Surveyor