Have you heard about the OGC GeoPackage specification (http://www.opengeospatial.org/standards/geopackage)? It is a newly minted OGC spec that defines GeoPackages for exchange and GeoPackage SQLite Extensions for direct use of vector geospatial features and/or tile matrix sets. Esri has actively participated in the spec activity from the very beginning. To this end, we were one of the very early adopters of the specification ( early support even before the spec was approved by OGC membership).
If you are curious about GeoPackages, here’s what you can do. At 10.2.1 or with 10.2.2 ArcGIS desktop, you can create an empty GeoPackage and populate the GeoPackage by copying feature data into it. At 10.2.1, we supported the draft version of the specification and at 10.2.2, the final version of the spec is supported. Currently we support only vector features, but with 10.3 we expect to extend support for raster tiles. One of the primary uses cases driving GeoPackage use is mobile support. Expect to see support for GeoPackage in runtime later this year.
So if you are a sqllite database aficionado and would like to test the waters with GeoPackage, here’s what you can do today with 10.2.1 or 10.2.2. You can use the included script to create a sample empty GeoPackage and then populate it with vector features. Use this GeoPackage as you would any other dataset. We have noticed that in some cases when navigating to a directory that contains GeoPackage (.gpkg) data, ArcCatalog/ArcMap does not display the file. Please review this KB article if you run into this issue. http://support.esri.com/en/knowledgebase/techarticles/detail/42348
Lance Shipman on the database team has been actively involved with this effort from the very beginning. Lance and I would welcome your feedback, as we at Esri continue to improve and extend GeoPackage support in 10.3.
Sample python script to create a GeoPackage.
# Set local variables
sqlite_database_path = ‘C:\data\example.gpkg’
# Execute CreateSQLiteDatabase