[R] reading in mdb and outputting to sql (GIS application)

Frank E Harrell Jr f.harrell at vanderbilt.edu
Fri Aug 14 19:06:37 CEST 2009

You need a fundamental solution to your system problem but a quick fix 
is to provide a symbolic link to the executable from a place that is in 
your system path.


stephen sefick wrote:
> Frank,
> I have tried to use this package, but because I am using fink to
> install packages the mdbtools binary they are not accessible by the
> function from within R.  I checked this by just trying to call it with
> the system function and R returned /bin/sh not found.  I can access
> the binary from the terminal, so the /sw/bin directory where mdbtools
> is located is in my PATH- at least at a terminal.
> thanks for the help,
> Stephen Sefick
> On Fri, Aug 14, 2009 at 11:27 AM, Frank E Harrell
> Jr<f.harrell at vanderbilt.edu> wrote:
>> The R Hmisc package interfaces these tools - see its mdb.get function.
>> Frank
>> Marc Schwartz wrote:
>>> On Aug 14, 2009, at 10:29 AM, stephen sefick wrote:
>>>> I have a geodatabase and would like to import it into GRASS, but it is
>>>> in .mbf.  I use mac and linux, and don't have access to access on the
>>>> machines that I normally use.  I do have access to access at school,
>>>> but I would like to find a way around this if possible.  Any thoughts,
>>>> comments, or suggestions would be welcome.
>>>> thanks,
>>> I think that on Linux and OSX, from an open source perspective, the only
>>> option is to use MDB Tools, though I have seen mixed reports of success,
>>> including some threads in the R-Help archives. It also appears that there
>>> has been no development on the package for about 5 years, as the current
>>> version (0.6pre1) dates from 2004. That may suggest limited, if any,
>>> compatibility with recent versions of Access file formats.
>>> You can download the source tarball here:
>>>  http://sourceforge.net/projects/mdbtools/
>>> For OSX, it is available via MacPorts:
>>>  http://trac.macports.org/browser/trunk/dports/databases/mdbtools/Portfile
>>> and for major Linux distributions, there are typically pre-compiled
>>> binaries available via the standard repos and installation tools (eg. yum
>>> and apt-get).
>>> There was also some work by the OO.org folks a while back to embed MDB
>>> Tools in OpenOffice, but I am not aware of the current state of the project
>>> or if it is even active any longer.
>>> There is a commercial option from Actual Technologies:
>>>  http://www.actualtechnologies.com/product_access.php
>>> which appears to provide an ODBC driver for Access on OSX. The page
>>> focuses on the use of either Excel or FileMaker Pro with the driver.
>>> However, you may be able to get it to work with RODBC.
>>> I use Actual's ODBC driver for Oracle on OSX via RODBC, since Oracle has
>>> not seen fit to provide a free one as they do for Linux and have been very
>>> pleased. It was easy to install and configure, so take that for what it's
>>> worth.
>>> HTH,
>>> Marc Schwartz
>>> ______________________________________________
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>>> PLEASE do read the posting guide
>>> http://www.R-project.org/posting-guide.html
>>> and provide commented, minimal, self-contained, reproducible code.
>> --
>> Frank E Harrell Jr   Professor and Chair           School of Medicine
>>                     Department of Biostatistics   Vanderbilt University

Frank E Harrell Jr   Professor and Chair           School of Medicine
                      Department of Biostatistics   Vanderbilt University

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