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Spatial Database Tips and Tricks

Location: Regency Ballroom #2 Level: Intermediate
Average rating: ****.
(4.44, 9 ratings)

Mapping APIs are great for data display and capture, but how do you build applications that allow query and geoprocessing of spatial data without becoming a Java or C++ programming guru? How about using the power of SQL, the standard database query language, and the spatial extensions provided by SQL Server, Oracle Spatial and PostGIS.

The OpenGIS Consortium has standardized the spatial types and functions that are required in a “spatial database”, and there are now several free and proprietary implementations of the standard. As a result, skills in spatial data processing you learn on one database can be easily transferred to other databases. Traditional “GIS web services” have required special purpose GIS server software like ArcGIS Server, but quality results can also be obtained with three tools familiar to any web developer: Javascript user interface components, PHP scripting glue and a SQL relational database.

Photo of Paul Ramsey

Paul Ramsey


Paul has been a developer and promoter of open source geospatial software for 10 years, as a founder of the PostGIS spatial database project, leader of an open source geospatial company, and currently as a Director of the Open Source Geospatial Foundation. Paul has spoken regularly at geospatial conferences, taught workshops on open source databases, and recently chaired the international Free and Open Source Software for Geospatial (FOSS4G2007) Conference in Victoria, Canada.

Mike Pumphrey


Comments on this page are now closed.


Avain Yeh
05/19/2009 6:58am PDT

How is the performance result you got from POSTGRESQL?